New moon glows with 'Earthshine' in incredible time-lapse photo series

Jupiter makes a cameo as well.

Stunning pictures of the night sky are produced by Lisbon, Portugal-based expert photographer, author, and scientific communicator Miguel Claro. He excels in astronomical "Skyscapes" that link Earth and the night sky. He is a European Southern Observatory Photo Ambassador, a fellow of The World At Night, and the official astrophotographer of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. Take a look at Miguel's image "Colorful Scenes Before and After the New Moon Shows a Lunar Earthshine at Dawn and Sunset" with him here.

The picture, taken in the early twilight of Antalya, Turkey, one day before the new moon and a partial solar eclipse, shows not only a smiling waning crescent moon but also an unusual glimpse of planet Mercury.

Because Mercury is the interior planet nearest to the sun, it is very challenging to see and locate in the eastern sky. The orange bright dot can be seen at the end of the wharf, close to the last roof of the bar in the picture.

The picture is visible when gazing in the opposite direction of the sky on the right-hand image, which was taken with the same 200mm lens and nearly from the same position on a pier over the shore. Just two days after the new moon and 30 minutes after sundown, we are now looking west.

Once more, earthshine can be seen, but due to the moon's location in relation to the sun, the environment has slightly altered. In his works found in the Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci first described and illustrated earthshine. He went on to explain the occurrence in the early 16th century after realizing that the earth and the moon both reflect sunlight at the same time.

Earthshine is light that travels from the Earth to the moon and then returns to the planet. Both pictures were shot toward the end of 2022. The picture to the right is a collection of time-lapse photographs taken as the moon's Earthshine of October 2016 set over the Bey Mountains and near to the Mediterranean Sea.

Want to observe the moon or capture stunning images of it? See our recommendations on the top telescopes and binoculars for more information. For more information on getting started, don't neglect to read our guides on the finest astrophotography lenses and cameras.