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Stunning Triple-Alignment Photo

An Italian photographer was forced to wait for six years to capture a remarkable triple-alignment photo of the Moon, a mountain, and a cathedral.


triple-alignment photo of the Moon, a mountain, and a cathedral
Credit: Valerio Minato

Valerio Minato took the one-of-a-kind photo last month after his five previous attempts to get the shot were thwarted by bad weather. He tells PetaPixel it is a “fullfilment of a dream.” Taken in Piemonte, Italy, the cathedral in the foreground is the Basilica of Superga, the mountain in the middle is Monviso, and, well, you know which moon is in the background.


Describing it as a “magical moment”, Minato explains that for a few brief seconds everything aligned to give this unique spectacle.


The amazing photo was selected by NASA for its picture of the day; the space agency explains that although the setting Moon is captured in a crescent phase, the exposure still captures the entire Moon thanks to the aptly-named da Vinci glow; which is doubly-reflected Earthlight. Earthlight - also known as the Moon’s ashen glow - is indirect sunlight dimly illuminating the otherwise unilluminated portion of the Moon.


“During the first and last phase of the lunar cycle the light of the Sun is reflected from the Earth towards the Moon, illuminating the portion of the surface in the shadow,” adds Minato.


To see more of Minato’s work, head to his Instagram page or website.

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