|Lovely Luna bathed in Earthshine.|
Ever since I snapped those photos of our Lady Tuesday night (see Wonderful Tonight & above) I have been wondering about that glow She has about Her these days. How delightfully ethereal it is. (Also very nice for those of us with telescopes.) Coincidence or not, I received the answer today in the form of a new post over at EarthSky blogs.
This dim, un-Earthly glow is actually created by light from the Earth reflecting off Her surface. It is a phenomena we see when our Moon is rising or setting during Her crescent phases. The ultra-bright crescent is (obviously) the sunlit portion still visible to us, while the accompanying eerie, tenebrous orb is the result of Earth shining back at Her. From the Moon's surface, this is the time when the Earth appears nearly full. It's sort of a case of Her looking at us, looking at Her, looking at us.
Too busy with my (characteristically Terran) one-sided veneration, I had never really thought much about that -- what we look like from there, how we too have cycles of waxing & waning & how we illuminate Her path just as She illuminates ours.
This new knowledge, this understanding... they ever deepen my adoration.