Earthshine

Physicists study lunar glow to monitor Earth's climate change.

 

 

Inside Science Buzzwords:

  1. Earthshine - a glow on the dark part of the crescent moon, caused by sunlight reflected from Earth to the moon.
  2. Lunar cycle - The approximately 29-day cycle from one new moon to the next, when the moon is illuminated from different angles based on its alignment with the sun and Earth.
  3. Full moon - the period in the lunar cycle in which the moon appears as a full disk from Earth.
  4. New moon - the period in the lunar cycle in which the moon appears completely dark from Earth, occurring when the sun illuminates the part of the moon facing away from Earth.
  5. Syzygy - a condition in which three or more celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon and Earth, are in a straight line.
  6. Cloud albedo - A measurement of how much solar radiation reflects from clouds into space before hitting the surface of the planet. Clouds reflect sunlight efficiently, so more cloud cover on Earth will generally increase the reflection of sunlight from our planet, and enhance Earthshine.