Catch the moon basking in Earthshine this weekend

Graphic showing the moon just above the constellation Cancer.
After sunset, look low in the western sky to see the moon glow with Earthshine. (Image credit: Chris Vaughan/Starry Night)

Look low in the western sky after sunset over the next few days and you may catch a glimpse of mesmerizing Earthshine lighting up the young moon. 

The phenomenon occurs when sunlight is reflected off Earth and back toward the moon according to geophysicist Chris Vaughan, an amateur astronomer with SkySafari Software who oversees's Night Sky calendar. The reflected light slightly brightens the dark portion of the moon's Earth-facing hemisphere. 

The enchanting sight is also known as the Ashen Glow and "the old moon in the new moon's arms," according to Vaughan. 

Related: What is today's moon? Moon phases 2022


Celestron Astro Fi 102

(Image credit: Celestron)

Looking for a telescope for the next stargazing event? We recommend the Celestron Astro Fi 102 as the top pick in our best beginner's telescope guide.  

Earthshine "appears for several days after each new moon" writes Vaughan "but is strongest in springtime at mid-northern latitudes when the moon is directly above the sun when it sets."

If you're looking for a telescope or binoculars to observe Earthshine, our guides for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now can help. Our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography can also help you prepare to capture the next skywatching sight on your own. 

Editor's Note: If you snap a photo of Earthshine and would like to share it with's readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to 

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Daisy Dobrijevic
Reference Editor

Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and also holds a Master's in Environmental Science, she is currently based in Nottingham, U.K. Daisy is passionate about all things space, with a penchant for solar activity and space weather. She has a strong interest in astrotourism and loves nothing more than a good northern lights chase!