Earthshine: the Moon shining in reflected light from the Earth

When the Moon appears as a thin crescent in the twilight skies of Earth it is often possible to see that the rest of the disc is also faintly glowing. This phenomenon is called earthshine. It is due to sunlight reflecting off the Earth and illuminating the lunar surface. After reflection from Earth the colours in the light, shown as a rainbow in this picture, are significantly changed. By observing earthshine astronomers can study the properties of light reflected from Earth as if it were an exoplanet and search for signs of life. The reflected light is also strongly polarised and studying the polarisation as well as the intensity at different colours allows for much more sensitive tests for the presence of life.

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ESO/L. Calçada

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Identification:eso1210c
Type:Dessin
Date de publication:29 février 2012 19:00
Communiqués de presse en rapport:eso1210
Taille:12000 x 7500 px

À propos de l'objet

Nom:Moon
Type:Unspecified : Sky Phenomenon : Light Phenomenon : Ray-Shadow : Earth shadow
Catégorie:Illustrations

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