Young Moon Challenge, July 3, 2008. Spotting a young Moon less that 24 hours old is an interesting challenge. On this evening we had a cold front move through our part of Georgian Bay in Ontario bringing a clear, transparent sky. This presented an opportunity for trying to find a very young Moon in the western sky.
The challenge is that the illuminated part of the Moon is very thin, and very faint, and since it is close to the Sun at this phase the sky is bright and washes out the subtle light from the Moon. It is easier to see when the sky gets darker, but by then the Moon has moved closer to the horizon and its faint light has to travel through so much atmosphere that once again it becomes difficult to find. There are just an opportune few minutes when the sky is dark enough, and the Moon is still high enough that it can be found.
This photograph was taken at 9:35 p.m. EDT when the Moon was 23 hours and 16 minutes past new. Just slightly over one percent of its illuminated side was visible from Earth. On the full size photograph it can been seen in the upper left corner.
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