Bad Astronomy

The Moon, waxing poetic

Space Shuttle astronaut Ron Garan should be familiar to regular BA readers; I’ve featured a lot of the photos he’s taken from space here on the blog. He’s been posting more of them on Google+, and he just put up this gorgeous shot of the Moon over the limb of the Earth:

Spectacular! [Click to enlunanate.]

I thought at first the Moon was a day after full in this image. If the terminator – the line dividing day and night – is on the bottom, then the Moon was a day past full. But the bottom also looks a bit squished, which may be due to Earth’s atmosphere distorting the shape of the Moon. So it’s really hard to tell. Unfortunately Ron didn’t post the date of the picture, so I’m not sure of the exact phase.

But then, it doesn’t really matter. It’s close enough to full, and not being sure of the exact phase neither bugs me nor detracts from the amazing beauty of the picture he took as he sailed around the Earth on board the space station.

Related posts:

- The Moon is flat!
- A new day, from space
- Moon over Afghanistan
- A puzzling planet picture from the ISS (and make sure you read the followup post!)