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Earthshine—topic Of The Month For Star Tours Lovers
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If you are fan of stargazing and often participate in the various star tours on different, but worth visiting places, you might have experienced that you never pass entire or a big portion of night in silence. Many instances occur when you come into exchanges of the words with other fellows or star tours lovers.
Generally, our discussions are pertaining to the heavenly object we are seeing at that moment. Seasoned astronomers or star tours lovers debating over the rare constellations they are seeing or have seen in the past. Some avid star tours lovers enjoy their experiences with various planets present at that moment.
However, world of kids and teen agers is quite different, but interesting if any knowledgeable adult participate in their discussions or ready to answer their novice questions. No doubt, they have mostly very primitive level of questions, but sometime pose a tough time for an avid astronomer too.
An Intelligent Question
In recent days, we are at the beginning days of new moon and crescent moon is rising gradually day-by-day. One of the kids who regularly participate in our star tours have raised a question in mid-night regarding to the moon. His question was that why early days of new moon allows mild illumination on the moon surface which is not covered by the direct sunlight, while at later stage or days, it is tough time to see such sober illumination of the darker portion of the moon.
The question of that kid was related to the earthshine phenomena on the moon. In simple words when small apparent portion of moon is shining through direct sunlight and forming thin bright crescent, the rest of dark portion on the moon surface is receiving comparative mild light rays reflected from the surface of earth. Therefore, that dark portion of moon has mild illumination due to secondary reflection of sunlight from the earth and back to earth from the moon.
This earthshine phenomenon offers great opportunities for sky tours lovers as they can focus their binoculars and telescopes on the mildly bright moon surface and enjoy the sight of nearly half-dozen lunar seas as well as the bright-rayed crater named Tycho easily. Therefore, earthshine days are exciting days for the beginners or teen-age sky tours lovers. They literally feel that they are hunting night creatures on the surface of moon by finding new things each next day.
Unfortunately, this tempo of earthshine is remaining just four days by direct eye vision users, while it extends more for three or four days for binocular and telescope users. As the directly illuminating moon crescent is increasing in size and reducing the areas of darker portion.
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