Bella Luna: Skywatcher Captures Old Moon Over Historic Italian Church

Old Moon Contact With Church Italy
An “old moon” appears to touch an historic church in Turin, Italy. (Image credit: Stefano De Rosa)

A slender old moon seems to be touching the top of this beautiful Italian church in this skywatcher image. The image was taken by Stefano De Rosa in Turin, Italy on Dec. 4, 2010.

The term “old moon” is a phase when the moon  is at its last quarter stage before becoming a new moon. During this time, the moon appears like a waning crescent in the night sky. The moon in this image was about one and a half days away from becoming a new moon. The building in this image is the Basilica of Superga, set high on the hills of Superga outside Turin. [Phases of the Moon Explained - Infographic ]

“The encounter was so close that the Moon (4° above the horizon) almost seemed willing to establish a ‘contact’ with the terrestrial monument, “ De Rosa wrote in an email.

“The remaining portion of the lunar disc is barely visible immersed in the glare of the twilight sky.”

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

This article was updated to reflect that the photo was taken in 2010, not 2011.

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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.