Shadow of the Earth & The Belt of Venus

We all know that moon phases are caused by the shadow of the Earth falling on the moon. I think I read somewhere that the shadow of the earth travels about 1 million kilometres. Have you ever wondered what the speed of shadow is?

Anyway there is an easier more spectacular way of viewing the Earth’s shadow. Just look west during sunrise and east during sunset. I’m positive most of us have seen this and either dismissed it as a clump of clouds or just darkness creeping in. But it’s pretty cool when you realise that it’s actually Earth’s shadow that’s beginning its long journey.

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Earth’s Shadow and Belt of Venus at Sunset looking East- South Rim Grand Canyon

The shadow of the Earth is that dark blue band and the pink band above it is called the belt of Venus (essentially refracted light).

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Taken slightly later on the same evening- notice how much bigger the shadow has become

If you look west during sunrise you can once again observe the shadow.

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Looking West During Sunrise at the Grand Canyon
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Shadow of the Earth and Belt of Venus

 

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Once again, beautiful pictures and also a learning session!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thank you- I’m glad my post was informative!

  2. arv! says:

    Amazing pictures…

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thanks very much arv!

  3. Nirmala says:

    Fascinating facts! Thanks

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Something new everyday!

  4. Nirmala says:

    The photos are wonderful!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thanks very much!

  5. Satya Pamarty says:

    “We all know that moon phases are caused by the shadow of the Earth falling on the moon.”

    Not so, I think! πŸ˜‰

    Cool pictures though.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thank you Satya- also for visiting my blog!

  6. V del Casal says:

    Oh, wow! I never knew this. Thank you for the lesson and the art. πŸ˜‰

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      My pleasure! Thanks for visiting!

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