Astrophotos: Here’s What a Super-thin Crescent Moon Looks Like

by Nancy Atkinson on April 1, 2014

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A tiny crescent Moon, with only about 1% of the lunar surface illuminated,  one day and a few hours after the New Moon phase. March 31, 2014 from Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.

A tiny crescent Moon, with only about 1% of the lunar surface illuminated, one day and a few hours after the New Moon phase. March 31, 2014 from Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.

Last night, you could have sung that old astronomical favorite, “By the light of the slivery Moon.” Yep, it was a teeny, tiny sliver of a crescent Moon, with just under 2% of the lunar surface illuminated. In fact, depending on where you live, the sliver could have been even tinier. Giuseppe Petricca from Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy snapped a 1% illuminated Moon (above) and then realized he also managed to capture images of the crescent Moon during the day when the Moon was just 0.7% illuminated! (below) “It was less than a day since the New Moon!” Giuseppe said via email. “I was absolutely amazed, to say the least!”

See his daytime image below, plus many more “slivery” tiny crescent Moons as seen from around the world:

The tiny crescent Moon captured during the daytime in Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, in a 0.7% phase, minus than a day since New Moon. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.

The tiny crescent Moon captured during the daytime in Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, in a 0.7% phase, minus than a day since New Moon. Credit and copyright: Giuseppe Petricca.


The one-day old crescent Moon on March 31, 2014. Credit and copyright: Robert Sparks.

The one-day old crescent Moon on March 31, 2014. Credit and copyright: Robert Sparks.

The 1.2 day old Moon, 2% illuminated, from Weatherly, PA. Inset picture taken with 12" Meade telescope. Credit and copyright: Tom Wildoner.

The 1.2 day old Moon, 2% illuminated, from Weatherly, PA. Inset picture taken with 12″ Meade telescope. Credit and copyright: Tom Wildoner.

 The Moon at sunset with only 2% of its surface illuminated. Credit and copyright:  Héctor Barrios.


The Moon at sunset with only 2% of its surface illuminated. Credit and copyright: Héctor Barrios.

A thin crescent Moon on April 1, 2014. Credit and copyright: Jason Hill.

A thin crescent Moon on April 1, 2014. Credit and copyright: Jason Hill.

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About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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