The new Moon, with the planets Venus and Mercury

The new Moon, with the planets Venus and Mercury

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Credit: JOHN SANFORD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: This photograph, taken at sunset, shows the new Moon and the planets Venus and Mercury. Mercury is the lowest of the three bright, star-like objects and the bright disc at upper left is Venus. The blue star (centre) is Beta Aurigae. Although the Moon is new, the rest of the disc can be seen to glow faintly. This is due to sunlight reflecting off the Earth onto the Moon and is known as earthshine.

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Keywords: astronomy, cosmology, earthshine, mercury, planet, planetary, planets, science, solar system, venus

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