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Word of the Day
Thursday, November 09, 2017

Definitions for earthshine

  1. Astronomy. the faint illumination of the part of the moon not illuminated by sunlight, as during a crescent phase, caused by the reflection of light from the earth.

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Citations for earthshine
I was in darkness save for the earthshine and the glitter of the stars below me. H. G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon, 1901
By observing Earthshine, the sunlight that is reflected from Earth onto the surface of the moon, they were able to detect a “vegetation red edge,” a distinctive spike in the near-infrared region that is caused by chlorophyll. Nicola Twilley, "What Are the Colors of Alien Life?" The New Yorker, April 3, 2015
Origin of earthshine
Earthshine appears in English in the early 19th century, about 20 years after the synonymous earthlight. Both words, considering their loveliness, are workaday astronomical terms, modeled after the much earlier moonlight (14th century) and moonshine (15th century).