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.
2020 March 14
Explanation: What phase of the Moon is 3.14 radians from the Sun? The Full Moon, of course. Even though the Moon might look full for several days, the Moon is truly at its full phase when it is 3.14 radians (aka 180 degrees) from the Sun in ecliptic longitude. That's opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. Rising as the Sun set on March 9, only an hour or so after the moment of its full phase, this orange tinted and slightly flattened Moon still looked full. It was photographed opposite the setting Sun from Teide National Park on the Canary Island of Tenerife. Also opposite the setting Sun, seen from near the Teide volcano peak about 3,500 meters above sea level, is the mountain's rising triangular shadow extending into Earth's dense atmosphere. Below the distant ridge line on the left are the white telescope domes of Teide Observatory
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.