There’s a beautiful Earth out tonight…

Here on Earth, poets and artists have been inspired for centuries by the beauty of a clear moonlit night. Perhaps it won’t be too much longer before they’re similarly inspired by a clear Earthlit night.

A lunar night bathed in Earthshine would be a beautiful sight to behold. Given its relative size, the Earth would appear four times as large in the lunar sky as the Moon does from Earth. Earthlight would probably cause everything to be bathed with a soft blue glow, and given that Earth is not only larger but also more reflective than the Moon, Earthshine would be much brighter than moonlight. In fact, a full Earth would be easily bright enough to read by.

But there’s one more thing that would make an Earthlit night quite magical. And that’s thanks to lunar soil. Moondust is composed of extremely fine particles, which are also quite reflective. Because of the small size of these dust grains, they tend to scatter light in all directions. This means that the landscape itself acts as a diffuser, meaning that the pale blue glow of Earth would be softened and scattered. Shadows would be softer and less defined.

I really hope that space tourism starts to take off someday soon, because standing on the surface of the Moon and appreciating the sight of a full Earth in the sky is a personal ambition of mine…

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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