Waxing Crescent

by Tom March. 31, 2009 7258 views

A waxing crescent moon??sometimes called a ??young moon???is always seen in the west after sunset. At this moon phase, the Earth, moon and sun are located nearly on a line in space. If they were more precisely on a line, as they are at new moon, we wouldn??t see the moon. The moon would travel across the sky during the day, lost in the sun??s glare. Instead, a waxing crescent moon is seen one day to several days after new moon. It rises one hour to several hours behind the sun and follows the sun across the sky during the day. When the sun sets, and the sky darkens, the moon pops into view in the western sky.

Because the waxing crescent moon is nearly on a line with the Earth and sun, the ??day side? is facing mostly away from us. We see only a slender fraction of the day side: a crescent moon. Each evening, because the moon is moving eastward in orbit around Earth, the moon appears farther from the sunset glare. Each evening, as the moon??s orbital motion carries it away from the Earth/sun line, we see more of the moon??s day side. Thus the crescent in the west after sunset appears to wax, or grow fatter each evening.

Note that a crescent moon has nothing to do with Earth??s shadow on the moon. The only time Earth??s shadow can fall on the moon is at full moon, during a lunar eclipse. There IS a shadow on a crescent moon, but it??s the moon??s OWN shadow. Night on the moon happens on the part of the moon submerged in the moon??s own shadow. Likewise, night on Earth happens on the part of Earth submerged in Earth??s own shadow.

You sometimes see a pale glow on the darkened portion (night side) of a crescent moon. This glow is due to light reflected from Earth??s day side. It??s called ??earthshine.?

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Pintã©R Orsi 8 years, 6 months ago

your moon photos are always amazing :)

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Mel 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow .... what an amazing shot.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Tim 8 years, 6 months ago

Brilliant!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Anka 8 years, 6 months ago

Awesome shot!!!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Leanne......Melbourne, Australia 8 years, 6 months ago

Great post!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Flowerstone 8 years, 6 months ago

Stunning capture Tom!!! I like it!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Carey 8 years, 6 months ago

interesting! that's an amazing photo! :)

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Anca Tudosa 8 years, 6 months ago

added to my fav!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Arie 8 years, 6 months ago

Lovely moon shot

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Nes 8 years, 6 months ago

amazing shot! I never get such good pictures of the moon...
and interesting story too ^^

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Sachiko 8 years, 6 months ago

I seem to be in the quiet outer space when I enlarge a photograph.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Kecskemétiné Nelli 8 years, 6 months ago

Just perfect.. =)

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Camille 8 years, 6 months ago

oops - the texte is a bit too long for me ... :-(
but the crescent is beautiful !

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Sara G 8 years, 6 months ago

Awesome is the word from me!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Miclaud 8 years, 6 months ago

Amazing!!! I like it!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Christa 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow, a lesson of astronomy.. and a picture like from NASA. Well done!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Andrea Kennard 8 years, 6 months ago

Stunning photo!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marco 8 years, 6 months ago

Just a word: WOW!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Ricardo 8 years, 6 months ago

hmm!
Thanks for the information :)
Wonderful moon ;P

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Zosia/Sophie 8 years, 6 months ago

It's fantastic! Amazing moon..

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Paul 8 years, 6 months ago

Simply amazing.....

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Mehdi Saharkhiz 8 years, 6 months ago

amazing

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jacki 8 years, 6 months ago

Good work... someday I will successfully capture the moon!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Tonya 8 years, 6 months ago

Hey, thanks for the lesson. I will never remember all of that, so I hope that there won't be a pop quiz! lol Great photo!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Leocheung 8 years, 6 months ago

An informative post with a fantastic picture.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jennye 8 years, 6 months ago

fantastic shot!!
and thanks for the info!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marsha 8 years, 6 months ago

That's just beautiful - a lot of interesting information, too!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Walter 8 years, 6 months ago

Awesome! :-)

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Brian 8 years, 6 months ago

Cool shot and information!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jet28 8 years, 6 months ago

I never knew that - thanks :-) Great shot!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Finbarr 8 years, 6 months ago

Stunning shot !!!!! great post !!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Ines 8 years, 6 months ago

Fantastic capture Tom!!! And interesting information too :)

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Kilian 8 years, 6 months ago

wow! that's fantastic! now time to post your photos of the other planets too... :)

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jumiella 8 years, 6 months ago

Awesome shot, Tom! Thanks for the introduction to subject.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Pete 8 years, 6 months ago

great post

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Gillian 8 years, 6 months ago

Your moon shots are really getting good now! And all that luna information too!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Gonia 8 years, 6 months ago

it looks wonderfull on your picture!bravo Tom!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
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