[Tweeters] Earthshine!

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sat Feb 25 20:50:10 PST 2017

Just yesterday I made a discovery that I just know is gonna make me feel better for the rest of my days: Earthshine!

Oh sure, you got your sunshine, you got your moonshine - but hey, get a load of that earthshine! What in the woohoo is earthshine you may be wondering? This morning I was talking on the telephone to my sister Margie, down in Puncture Junction New Mexico, and ran the question by her: "Do you know what earthshine is?" My sister is pretty savvy about nature sorts of things, but didn't know nothing about earthshine. That made me feel better - like I wasn't the last person on earth to find out about earthshine.

I don't really remember my early moon watching days, but imagine I did reach out to touch the moon back in my baby goo goo days. "Goon!" I might have said. At times I'm a bit slow on the uptake - like, after 61 years of moon watching , I just found out about earthshine.

After a trip down to Puncture Junction NM, I was enamored by the planet Venus , which I saw as never before, in the New Mexican sky, and pulled out possibly the least opened book on my shelves: Petersons Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. I wanted to find out more about ol' Venus and stumbled on a photo on page 245 of earthshine.

It's kind of funny, but I had been wondering about this as I was thinking about planets, which like moons, don't emit light, they just reflect sunlight, which is pretty cool really. And that got me wondering about what the Earth reflects: answer on page 245 of my Peterson guide - Earthshine.

Earthshine has been one of my favorite sights for decades, but I didn't know what I was seeing. Ever notice, looking at a crescent moon, that the dark part of the moon is gently lit, giving the moon a more 3-D look? That's earthshine - the reflection of the sunlit Earth on the Moon. Is it just me, or is that just totally amazing!

Jeff Gibson

Accidental Astronomer

Port Townsend Wa

More information about the Tweeters mailing list