Venus Looks Down: Skywatcher Photo Captures Planet and Earthshine

Venus and Earthshine
Skywatcher P.M. Heden of The World At Night (TWAN) took this stunning image of Venus above the moon. Multiple exposures are made to collect enough light for an image that would otherwise not be evident to the eye. (Image credit: P.M. Heden (TWAN))

A sparkling Venus shines down at the moon, partly illuminated by Earthshine, in this stunning photo taken by an amateur astronomer.

Venus has been called Earth's twin sister due to its size.

One of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus is visible from Earth because it is close to the orbit of the sun. Due to this proximity, Venus is difficult to see against the backdrop of sunlight. To get the best view, skywatchers should look for the planet about 20 minutes after sunset or before sunrise.

In the photo, an eerie glow fills the darkened part of the crescent moon. This glow is caused by Earthshine, which is the refraction of light from the Earth onto the moon. When the sun sets, our own planet can light up the moon and produce an ashen glow. 

The stunning photo of Venus and the moon was taken by skywatcher P.M. Heden of The World At Night (TWAN).

Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.