The Twilight Wedge and Full Moon

Click here for an image of the Belt of Venus

Full Moon Above Earth's Shadow

Most people, if asked, would say they have never seen earth's shadow -- when in fact they have seen it often but just do not know it. We can actually see the earth's shadow twice a day -- at sunrise and at sunset. Look at the opposite horizon away from the sun, (that is, look toward the western horizon at sunrise and look at the eastern horizon at sunset), and you will see a dark blue band at the horizon just before sunrise and just after sunset. This image taken just before sunrise shows the earth's shadow as a low, flat, dark blue band on the western horizon. The earth's shadow is also referred to as the twilight wedge. The setting full moon also appears in this image above the earth's shadow. A pinkish anti-twilight arch is visible immediately above the earth's shadow and just below the full moon. This anti-twilight arch is sometimes called the "Belt of Venus" or "Venus's Girdle." Click here for an image of the Belt of Venus.

This image was taken just before sunrise from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona. A Canon EOS Digital Rebel SLR camera was used.

January 11, 2009
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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