CHRIS COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Crescent Moon with earthshine. The Moon does not produce its own light, but can be seen because it reflects light. The bright crescent is lit by the Sun whilst the darker part is lit by 'earthshine' or sunlight reflected from the Earth. Earthshine is most readily observable shortly before and after a New Moon. When the Moon is new, the Earth appears fully lit as viewed from the Moon. Sunlight is reflected from the Earth to the night side of the Moon, and then back to observers on the Earth. The dark patches on the Moon are maria, areas of ancient lava flows. A prominent starburst impact crater is at lower left on the Moon's surface.
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