I don’t know how I missed this, but International Space Station astronaut Koichi Wakata tweeted this picture recently; it’s the very thin crescent Moon rising over the Earth’s limb. Taken on Feb. 1, 2014, the Moon was just two days past new at the time. I love the broad sweep and bold colors of the Earth’s atmosphere (due to scattered sunlight) contrasting with the delicate wisp of the far more distant Moon.
I wonder … if he took a photo just a minute or so later, Mercury would be visible close to the Earth’s edge as well. If anyone finds that, please let me know!
N.B.: If you’re wondering about the title, it’s from Boing Boing’s “unicorn chaser,” a pretty picture posted as a palate cleanser after a less pleasant post. In this case, I’m just using it as a refresher to get some astronomy and beauty back in to the blog … but of course, astronomy and beauty are in some ways the same thing.