Magnificent Moon Rises With Soaring Birds (Photo)

Moon First Quarter Carpentier Skywatching
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. (Image 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

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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.