Youngest possible New Moon

This stunning new image by astrophotographer Thierry Legault was taken the morning on July 8 and is the youngest possible lunar crescent, with the “age” of the New Moon at this instant being exactly zero.    Image © Thierry Legault

Astrophotographer Thierry Legault, explains:

This image shows the tiny lunar crescent at the precise moment of the New Moon, in full daylight at 7h14min UTC on July 8 2013. It is the youngest possible crescent, the age of the Moon at this instant being exactly zero. Celestial north is up in the image, as well as the Sun. The irregularities and discontinuities are caused by the relief at the edge of the lunar disk (mountains, craters).

From the shooting site (Elancourt, France), the angular separation between the Moon and the Sun was only 4.4° (nine solar diameters). At this very small separation, the crescent is extremely thin (a few arc seconds at maximum) and, above all, it is drowned in the solar glare, the blue sky being about 400 times brighter than the crescent itself in infrared (and probably more than 1000 times in visible light). In order to reduce the glare, the images have been taken in close infrared and a pierced screen, placed just in front of the telescope, prevents the sunlight from entering directly in the telescope.

The ephemerides have been calculated with the NASA JPL HORIZONS System.

via universetoday

source Thierry Legault