JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Moon with Earthshine. Optical image of a waxing (increasing in apparent size) Moon. The bright crescent (right) of this Moon is directly illuminated by sunlight. The rest of the face of the Moon is illuminated by sunlight reflected from the Earth, a phenomenon known as Earthshine. This stage in the phases of the Moon is between the new Moon and first quarter (half moon). The phases of the Moon (new Moon, first quarter, full Moon and then back to new Moon) are due to its orbit around the Earth. When it lies in between the Earth and the Sun, only the unlit side faces us (new Moon). When the Earth lies between it and the Sun, we see a full Moon. Each cycle takes around 28 days. Photographed from California, USA, on 21 January 2007.
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