Da Vinci Moon Over Colorado This Week – Know What That Means?
Leonardo da Vinci has been dead for more than 500 years, believe it or not, but you might catch a glimpse of something he discovered - even all the way back then - in the skies over Northern Colorado.
Obviously da Vinci had an eye for the artistic effects on the world, and what has been referred to as "the old moon in the new moon's arms" is just that: essentially an artistic effect. He was the first one to ponder what exactly was happening when this phenomenon was visible from earth, and thus, the resulting "Da Vinci Glow" was named after him.
In a nutshell, it's when the moon is in a crescent phase, as it is this week. But the reflection of sunlight off the earth is still enough to illuminate the rest of the moon that would otherwise be in the earth's shadow, caused by our being in between the sun and the moon.
"Earthshine" as it's called, in many ways is similar to how the moon illuminates the earth at night here. Know how when we have a full moon you can still see outside at night, where the moonlight is kind of like a night light? Well earthshine is just like that - except about 50 times brighter. So the result when that reflection hits the moon is that you can see what otherwise would be a new moon, which you can't normally see that well.
Here's what it looked like over Ukraine the other night.
It's not as rare as you'd think, but conditions need to be ideal for it to happen. You need a crescent moon - which we have right now - so, check.
Then shockingly, it's not our oceans reflecting the light, but instead, clouds. So you also need a partly cloudy night where there's enough clouds to reflect onto the moon, but it's still not so cloudy to block your view of it.
These next couple nights will be your best chance, so get outside and have a look starting around sunset!