Magnificent Moon Rises With Soaring Birds (Photo)
VegaStarCarpentier captured this image of the moon in first quarter in the early evening of Sept. 22, 2012 in Épernay, Champagne-Ardenne, France using a Canon EOS 1000D, 300mm.
Credit: VegaStarCarpentier

Birds appear to fly across the moon in this stunning skywatching image.

Photographer VegaStar Carpentier took this photo in the early evening of Sept. 22, 2012 in Épernay, Champagne-Ardenne, France, using a Canon EOS 1000D, 300mm.

The moon  is the brightest object in the night sky and takes 27.3 days both to rotate on its axis as well as to orbit Earth. We see the moon because of reflected sunlight and how much of it we see depends on the position of the orb in relation to Earth.

This moon is at first quarter or 50.5 percent of illumination. Although the moon appear half-lit to us, astronomers still call it a quarter moon. This is because only a quarter of the moon's surface can be seen with the naked eye from Earth.

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 tmalik@space.com.

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For most of human history, the moon was largely a mystery. It spawned awe and fear and to this day is the source of myth and legend. But today we know a lot about our favorite natural satellite. Do you?
Full Moon over Long Beach, CA
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Moon Master: An Easy Quiz for Lunatics
For most of human history, the moon was largely a mystery. It spawned awe and fear and to this day is the source of myth and legend. But today we know a lot about our favorite natural satellite. Do you?
Full Moon over Long Beach, CA
0 of questions complete