Why Do We See The Moon in Daylight

Moon in Daylight

“Why Do We See The Moon in Daylight?”

A very common misconception in astronomy is that the moon is directly opposite the sun in the sky. In fact, the moon is only in this position for a single instant in the whole lunar month. the exact time of the full moon, when it is 180 degrees away from the sun. For the rest of the month, it can be anywhere from 0 to 180 degrees away and at least in theory, visible in the daytime sky.

The moon is moving approximately 3.8 cm away from the planet earth every year. It will continue to do so around 50 billion years. By that time it will take the moon around 47 days to orbit the earth, instead of the current 27.3 days

Two Things Contribute to the Moon being Visible in Daylight are:
1. It is bright enough that its light penetrates the scattered blue light of the sky.
2. The moon must be high enough in the sky to be visible.

Because of the earth’s rotation, the moon is above the horizon roughly 12 out of every 24 hours. Since those 12 hours almost never coincides with the 12 hours of daylight every 24 hours, the possible window of observing the moon in daylight is about 6 hours a day.

The moon is visible during daylight nearly every day. The exceptions being close to the new moon, when it is too close to the sun to be visible and close to the full moon when it is only visible at night.

Science education extension:
Young scientist Singapore
Level3 187

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