April 13, 2013

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The Dark Side of the Moon

image by Peter Rosén, Stockholm, Sweden

I have had a question in mind since a very long time: Does Earthshine look like the full Moon or will there be any perceptible differences except of course a huge difference in illumination? Last month on the 15th of March there was a beautiful Earthshine so after photographing the crescent Moon, I started to expose "the dark side" at the same high magnification. It proved very difficult because the illuminated crescent would dazzle the dark features much more than at a lower magnification so it has been a very hard work to join the 8 pictures together into an Earthshine mosaic. To the left is the Earthshine version and to the right the same view of a full Moon photographed on the 14th of October 2008. There is a difference in libration but I think that they compare well enough. The most obvious difference: On the full Moon there is always a part that casts shadows, but on the Earthshine shot, the light emanates from our direction, the observers, and therefore there are absolutely no shadows anywhere.

Peter Rosén
P.S.: As a bonus, I caught a meteor passing in front of Mare Humorum.

Yesterday's LPOD: Rejuvenation

Tomorrow's LPOD: Don't Hold the Olive


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