Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2023 November 12
Explanation: This is a gibbous Moon. More Earthlings are familiar with a full moon, when the entire face of Luna is lit by the Sun, and a crescent moon, when only a sliver of the Moon's face is lit. When more than half of the Moon is illuminated, though, but still short of full illumination, the phase is called gibbous. Rarely seen in television and movies, gibbous moons are quite common in the actual night sky. The featured image was taken in Jämtland, Sweden near the end of 2018 October. That gibbous moon turned, in a few days, into a crescent moon, and then a new moon, then back to a crescent, and a few days past that, back to gibbous. Setting up to capture a picturesque gibbous moonscape, the photographer was quite surprised to find an airplane, surely well in the foreground, appearing to fly past it.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.