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APOD: 2023 December 4 Plane Crossing Crescent Moon
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APOD: 2023 December 4  Plane Crossing Crescent Moon
Credit & Copyright: Juned Patel
Explanation: No, the Moon is not a bow, and no, it did not shoot out a plane like an arrow. What is pictured is a chance superposition. The plane's contrail would normally appear white, but the large volume of air toward the rising Sun preferentially knocked away blue light, not only making the sky blue, but giving the reflected trail a bright red hue. Far in the distance, well behind the plane, the crescent Moon also appears slightly reddened. Captured early last month from Bolton, UK, the featured image was taken so soon after sunrise that the plane was sunlit from below, as was its contrail. Within minutes, unfortunately, the impromptu sky show ended. The plane moved out of sight. The Moon kept rising but became harder to see through a brightening sky. And the contrail gradually dispersed.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

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