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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 Space.com'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

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(Image credit: Celestron)

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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 Space.com's readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to spacephotos@space.com. 

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Daisy Dobrijevic
Reference Writer

Daisy Dobrijevic joined Space.com in February 2022 as a reference writer 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.