30 January 2009


The beautiful pairing of Venus and the crescent moon last night got me thinking about earthglow. WordMan™ reminded me that earthshine is the proper term, but I like mine. Our planet reflects sunlight, and that reflected light illuminates the surface of our satellite. That's why we can see the entire face of the moon during the crescent phase. It is one of my favorite sights. "Glow," according to Partridge, is of Norse-Germanic origin, making it an old, old English word. I like the thought that some ancient Viking might have formed the same sounds as he looked heavenward and pointed to the faintly-lit disk above him.

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