Seen below are photographs I took of four New Moons this year. I use the term New Moon in the traditional sense referring to the first sighting of the Moon after conjunction with the Sun – not the more modern usage related to the moment of conjunction. For the latter I prefer the older term Dark Moon and employ it for the monthly wallpaper calendars on my website: http://www.curtrenz.com/astronomical.html
Notice how the positioning of the Moon changes as the months progress. That’s due to the changing geometry of the ecliptic at sunset. For a similar reason, the first sighting of the New Moon becomes later as we move from spring toward autumn.
All four photos were taken from Arlington Heights, IL with my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F717 at full 5x zoom. There were originally 2560x1920 pixels but cropped and reduced to 640x480.
New Moon Photos
Personal record for spotting a young Moon
2007 MAR 19 at 19:28 CDT - Moon aged 21:45 hrs
ISO 100, F/2.4 & 1/30 sec
Mercury in picture with Moon lit by earthshine
2007 MAY 17 at 21:09 CDT – Moon aged 30:42 hrs
ISO 100, F/2.4 & 1.6 sec
Shown by WGN-TV Chicago weatherman Tom Skilling during his 21:30 weathercast
2007 JUL 15 at 21:09 CDT – Moon aged 38:05
ISO 100, F/2.4 & 0.62 sec
Moon isn’t very young when first spotted near the autumnal equinox
2007 SEP 13 at 19:36 CDT – Moon aged 59:52 hrs
ISO 100, F/2.4 & 1/15 sec