If you took the time to spy on the Moon in the last nights, you may have noticed that it, in its waning phase, which started on the 8th, did not disappear gradually, totally, as usual – and there is a very specific reason for this : a phenomenon called cinereous light, first described over 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci.
What happens is that, during the event, the Earth reflects part of the sunlight it receives (about 38%) directly into space, with the natural satellite “bouncing” about 10% back here, providing a spectacle different. The more cloudy the planet, the more light and therefore the stronger the “scene”. However, the best is yet to come.
After the New phase, the Crescent Moon will begin, and in its first days, from the 15th, the light will be even more apparent, since the brightness of the shaded part competes only with the “lit” band characteristic of the period. In addition, the phases of the planet and its neighbor are complementary (and, from there, we could observe the “Terra Cheia”).
One last breath
So, did you get excited about the cinema light? The best dates for viewing the phenomenon will be from the 17th to the 20th, just after dark, during the Crescent Moon. In fact, a curiosity is that, if the Sun disappeared, while the Earth would plunge into darkness, we would have at least three minutes of the lunar event before the light goes out.