Moonicorn Chaser

Contributed by
Feb 6, 2014
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What with all the posting about global warming and creationism, maybe now is a good time to sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and remember the Universe is still out there, ticking along:

I don't know how I missed this, but International Space Station astronaut Koichi Wakata tweeted this picture recently; it's the very thin crescent Moon rising over the Earth's limb. Taken on Feb. 1, 2014, the Moon was just two days past new at the time. I love the broad sweep and bold colors of the Earth's atmosphere (due to scattered sunlight) contrasting with the delicate wisp of the far more distant Moon.

I wonder ... if he took a photo just a minute or so later, Mercury would be visible close to the Earth's edge as well. If anyone finds that, please let me know!

N.B.: If you're wondering about the title, it's from Boing Boing's "unicorn chaser," a pretty picture posted as a palate cleanser after a less pleasant post. In this case, I'm just using it as a refresher to get some astronomy and beauty back in to the blog ... but of course, astronomy and beauty are in some ways the same thing.