March's waxing moon smiles upon the Northern Hemisphere
Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 11:34 AM - Sky watchers in the Northern Hemisphere were treated to a big smile in the sky Monday night as clear conditions framed a young waxing crescent moon.
The amount visible of the moon was approximately 10 per cent due to its age, which was three days, and there were two prime hours to view the event: at dusk and again after the sun set.
Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn, owner/operator of the fantastic Weather & Sky web site, part-time astrophotographer and photography enthusiast, provided The Weather Network with two photographs of Monday's event from the Niagara escarpment, the first (seen above) coming just before darkness set in.
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The second photograph was taken well after sunset, and depicts a view with the moon's earthshine. According to Wikipedia, Earthshine is reflected earthlight visible on the Moon's night side, like so:
Leonardo da Vinci explained the phenomenon in the early 16th century when he realized that both Earth and the Moon reflect sunlight at the same time.
March is considered the best time of year to witness the young moon because of the ecliptic, or plane of the solar system. In addition to the young moon, late winter early spring (Read the 2014 Spring Outlook) evenings present the best time to see the zodiacal light after dusk. The zodiacal light occurs after dark (80 to 120 minutes after sunset).
All photos courtesy of Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn and Weather & Sky.