This stunning image of earthshine or the “Old Moon in the New Moon’s arms,” from a young crescent moon was taken by Yuri Beletsky, from Las Campanas Observatory, Atacama Desert, Chile, planet Earth near moonset on January 18.
Dramatic atmospheric inversion layers appear above the Pacific Ocean, colored by the sunset at the planet’s western horizon. But the view from the Moon would have been stunning, too. When the Moon appears in Earth’s sky as a slender crescent, a dazzlingly bright, nearly full Earth would be seen from the lunar surface. A description of earthshine, in terms of sunlight reflected by Earth’s oceans in turn illuminating the Moon’s dark surface, was written 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci.
Image credit Yuri Beletsky