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Astro Bob

An Invitation To Explore Tonight’s Crescent Moon

29 Nov 2019, 19:42 UTC
An Invitation To Explore Tonight’s Crescent Moon
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The sky tonight (Nov. 29) at dusk. Stellarium
Clear skies this evening? Face west about 45 minutes to about an hour after sunset and you’ll see — from top to bottom — the 3½ day old crescent moon, Saturn, Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter will be leaving the scene soon. Venus sticks around and gets higher and brighter. Saturn follows Jupiter’s lead and slowly moves westward in the coming nights, dropping lower and lower in the direction of sunset. And of course the moon will wax and move upward and to the left as it orbits the Earth.
A ramble across the earth-lit moon tonight in binoculars will reveal large dark areas (lunar seas) and several bright blotches — the craters Tycho, Copernicus and Aristarchus. The crescent, which is illuminated by direct sunlight, is deliberately overexposed in this photo. Bob King
All these cycles interweave effortlessly to create tonight’s scene. If you have a pair of 7x to 10x binoculars be sure to look at the mysterious, semi-dark two-thirds of the moon tonight lit by earthlight. Earthlight is sunlight light reflected from the Earth to the moon and back. Since Earth only reflects the sun’s light, the earthlit moon appears a ...

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