Gorgeous Glow! The Crescent Moon and Earthshine (Photo)

Crescent Moon and Earthshine by Chumack
The crescent moon lit up by earthshine was captured by astrophotographer John Chumack on Sept. 8, 2015. (Image credit: John Chumack | www.galacticimages.com )

As the sun sets, our own planet can light up the moon and produce an ashen glow. 

The crescent moon lit up by earthshine was captured by astrophotographer John Chumack on Sept. 8. "That pale glow on the unlit part of a crescent moon is light reflected from Earth, also known as earthshine," Chumack wrote in an email to Space.com.

If you look at a crescent moon just after sunset or right before the sunrise, you can spot not only the familiar crescent shape, but also the rest of the glowing orb as a dark disk. [Amazing Lunar Eclipse Photos of 2015]

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When sunlight reflects off the Earth and shines onto the moon, the phenomenon is called "earthshine." A crescent moon is between a new moon and a half moon. The sunlit portion is a waning crescent moon, and the Earth lit portion is a waxing gibbous earthshine. 

Chumack used a Canon 6D DSLR & 8 Inch Diameter F10 SCT(2000mm FL), ISO 400, 1.6 second exposure. 

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by Space.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com 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.