THE 1% LUNAR CRESCENT: Chris Schur of Payson, Arizona, has been planning this shot for months. “The opportunity came Friday morning, with the rising sun halfway up the sky,” he says. “I pointed my telescope 15 degrees east of the sun and there it was!” Behold, the 1% crescent Moon:
“This is by far the thinnest crescent moon I have ever imaged,” says Schur. “Here the moon is .80 days old – 19.2 hours according to the Virtual Moon Atlas. The illumination is 1.0%.”
“And yes – I did view the crescent visually,” he says. “It was really tough! I could see only a portion of the crescent at one time in a low power ocular, but it was there against a light blue sky.”
Readers, you can see a slender crescent Moon tonight with considerably less effort. When the sun goes down, step outside and face west. A 3% crescent Moon will emerge at the feet of Castor and Pollux, the twins of Gemini. Enjoy the show.