The Dark Side of the Moon in Twilight

Crescent Moon with Earthshine Amid Stars

The waxing crescent Moon shines amid the stars and deep blue twilight.

This was the scene last night, as the two-day-old Moon reappeared in the evening sky as a thin crescent.

The Moon looks full because most of the side facing us was brilliantly lit by Earthshine, sunlight reflected off the Earth and lighting the Moon. Here, only the thin crescent at right is directly lit by the Sun.

This was a particularly bright example of Earthshine, likely because so much of the northern part of the Earth is now covered with cloud and snow, making Earth even more reflective than it usually is.

To capture this scene through a telescope, I shot a set of high-dynamic-range exposures, from long to short, to capture the huge range in brightness from the dayside to the darkside of the Moon. The long exposure also captured the stars in the deep blue twilight of a clear New Mexico sky.

– Alan, November 25, 2014 / © 2014 Alan Dyer

4 Replies to “The Dark Side of the Moon in Twilight”

  1. That’s great Alan, especially for such a wide tonal range!! Are you using Photomatix for your HDR? I’ve had good results with HDR Efex Pro, but it’s never worked out for me using the Photoshop’s version.

    1. Hi, I tried Photomatix with this set but it completely messed up because of the motion of the Moon relative to the stars. The Remove Ghosts and Alignment of images failed. Photoshop HDR Pro did better though I still had to clean up edges where images didn’t align perfectly. With other images, Photomatix does a better job. — Alan

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