Old Moon and Sister Stars
An old crescent Moon shares the eastern sky over Menton, France with the sister stars of the
Pleiades cluster in this early morning skyscape recorded just last Friday, June 23rd.
(Bright Venus was also near the eastern horizon, but is not pictured here.) Astronomical
images of the well-known Pleiades often show the cluster's alluring blue reflection nebulae,
but they are washed out here by the bright moonlight. Still, while the crescent Moon is
overexposed, surface features can be seen on the dim lunar night side illuminated by
earthshine - light from sunlit planet Earth. Of course, you can spot a young crescent
Moon in the early evening sky tonight. Having left the Pleiades behind, a lovely lunar
crescent now appears in the west, lining up with planets Mars, Saturn, and Mercury along
the solar system's ecliptic plane.