NASA Image of the Day: Earth’s Shadows

Can you spot the two shadows of the earth in today’s picture?

What do we see in today’s NASA image?

As you can see in the picture, the upper part of the atmosphere looks pink and the lower part looks blue. The reason for this phenomenon is that the upper half is exposed to direct sunlight, while the lower half is not exposed to sunlight. The purple area between these two regions is known as the “Belt of Venus”, even though Venus is on the other side of the sky, closer to the Sun. Consequently, this name does not depend on the position of the planet Venus in the sky. The blue color of the lower atmosphere is caused by the blocking of sunlight by the earth, thus creating the first shadow of the earth.

Where is the second shadow of the earth? Look at the moon. Notice anything unusual in the lower left corner? This area appears unnaturally dark because it is in the Earth’s shadow. In this way, we also found the second shadow of the earth.

In fact, this image of the moon was recorded during a lunar eclipse. This precisely timed image was taken in July 2018 in Sampieri, Sicily, Italy.

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