Ukrainians can see a unique celestial phenomenon: what is the "Da Vinci Glow" and when to watch it

Yulia LoseynkoLife
The Da Vinci Glow can be seen even with the naked eye, but a telescope will give a better view

On the 19th, the Moon will start a new cycle. Within 2-3 days before and after the new moon, Ukrainians will be able to observe a unique celestial phenomenon, which can be seen only when the satellite of the Earth is in its shadow. On such a night, twice reflected sunlight subtly illuminates the dark part of the crescent, creating the illusion of a phantom night light.

According to Live Science, the phenomenon is called the "Da Vinci glow." It can be seen today and will be until the end of this week.

It arises because sunlight is reflected from the surface of the Earth, hits the darkened surface of the Moon, and returns to the eyes of the Earth observer. It looks like a weak ghostly glow on the shaded side of the celestial body facing our planet.

The Da Vinci glow can only be seen when the thin crescent moon is low above the horizon, both during the last few days of the old lunar cycle and the first few days of the new one.

The phenomenon was named after Italian artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, who first described it in the 15th century. He suggested at the time that the phantom moon appeared in the sky because of light reflected by Earth's oceans. However, later NASA observations have clarified that the cause of such a glow are still clouds and sea ice.

Observe the phenomenon only when the weather is clear. The best time to do this is an hour after sunset and an hour before sunrise. The period when it can be seen, this time is a few days between May 15 and 23, not counting the 19th, the night of the new moon.

You can see the Da Vinci Glow with the naked eye, but you can see it better with binoculars or a good small telescope. The best months to observe the phenomenon in 2023 are April and May. In these months, the reflected light is about 10 percent brighter than the NASA average.

Scientists warn that climate change could cause the Da Vinci Glow to no longer be observed from Earth. As the oceans warm up, the amount of low clouds over the eastern Pacific decreases, which in turn causes some reduction in the Earth's reflectivity. And this causes the intensity of the Da Vinci luminescence to drop as well, say scientists from the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California, USA.

Previously OBOZREVATEL told about natural glass beads that were found on the surface of the moon and what a sensational discovery they were.

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