why do we see the moon in the day
Two reasons first, the moon is bright enough toВbe seen above the blue/white hue of the sky. Second, the duration for which it is above the horizon of Earth coincides with the sun, making it visible during the daytime. Everyone knows that we can t see stars during the day. The most common explanation for this is that the faint glow of stars is washed out by the incredible illumination of the sun in the sky. Folks who are a bit nerdier will go a step further and tell you that the stars are actually washed out because of the Earthвs atmosphere, which scatters the sunlight reaching our planet. Just like stars, we cannot (usually) see the moon during the daytime. However, there are days when you can clearly see the moon during daytime. Why is that? You almost certainly know that theВmoon does not give off its own light, but instead reflects the light of the sun to illuminate the night skies on Earth. It is interesting to note that the moon is actually quite dark, so only about 3% of the sunlight hitting the lunar surface is reflected. However, that scanty 3% of the reflected light is enough to illuminate our night skies back here on Earth. All of this is to say that whileВthe moon is nowhere nearly as bright as the sun, itвs still much brighter than even the brightest star in our night sky.
Therefore, it can shine through the white hue of the daytime sky and be visible, even at high noon! The visibility of the moon from Earth depends entirely on the formerвs position in its orbit. The moon completes a revolution around Earth in a little less than 30 days, andВit appears as different shapes in the sky over that period. These varied shapes are commonly referred to as the eight phases of the moon. During a given portion of that time period (around the time of the full moon), the moon rises as the sun sets because the moon is opposite from the sun in the sky. Therefore, on every full moon, the sun, moon and Earth line up in such a manner that we can watch the sun setting and the moon rising (on the opposite side of the horizon) at about the same time. However, with the passage of each day, the moon keeps getting nearer to the sun until finally it appears to be very close (around the time of a new moon), rising and setting at almost the same time as the sun. The upshot of this is that the moon becomes less visible at night and more visible during the daytime. Since the Earth is constantly rotating, the moon appears above the horizon for around 12 hours out of the total 24.
On some days, these 12 hours coincide with the sunвs 12 hours above the horizon, and lo and behold! We can see moon during the daytime! At that point,Вthe moon begins to move away from the sun until it gets back to the full moon phase and the cycleВstarts over. Itвs interesting to note that the moon is visible during the daytime almost every day (except on the days when itвs close to the new moon phase), but one needs to look at the sky very carefully to spot it. Thatвs the reason most casual observers cannot see the moon during the daytime every day. For all you stargazers out there, the moon appears in the daytime sky after the full moon phase until a few days before the new moon (itвs not visible around the new moon phase, as the illuminated side of the moon is facing away from the Earth). If you keep track of the phases of the moon on a daily basisВ(hereвs a useful
), you willВ know the exact days when you can spot that faintly luminous, whitish ball in the daytime sky! On earth, we know that we have two bright objects in the sky: the sun and the moon. When the earth faces the sun during its rotation, the energy from the sun gives us light and heat.
When the earth faces away from the sun it becomes dark and we see the moon in the sky. Every night we look up and see the familiar face of the man-in-the-moon as the brightest object. So what causes us to be able to see the moon during the day? The moon has an orbit around the earth and we can see it at night because of the reflection of the sunвs rays and energy that bounce back to the earth. This is what gives the moon the brilliant white glow. Itвs important to also remember that the earth has a rotation and an orbit around the sun. The relationship between the earth and the moon is kind of like a slow dance. The earth is tilted on an axis, all the while going around the sun and meanwhile, the moon is going around the earth. The light from the moon is bright enough to overpower the usual light that we see at particular times of the day. Most of the light that is visible to the human eye is in the blue color range and the moonвs reflected light, combined with its location gives us the chance to see it during certain daylight hours. Due to the rotation of the moon around the earth, it is actually above our horizon for about twelve hours out of our twenty four hour day.
We can only usually see the moon for about six hours during that time period, and then the bright light energy of the sun overpowers the reflection. There are times during the month when this pattern changes. When the moon is close to the вnew moonв cycle it is too close to the sun for us to see during the day and when it is nearing the вfull moonв cycle, it only becomes visible during the night. The best times to look at the moon during the daylight hours are during the first and last quarter of it cycle. That is when the moon is ninety degrees away from the sun. This is the perfect positioning of the moon during its cycle so that it isnвt too far or too close. Scientists and students that study the moon and its cycle know that, for the most part, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. However, due to the orbit of the moon it isnвt in the same place in the sky every day and night; it is actually moving in location. This means if you set up a telescope to see the moon one night and left it there to see it again the next night, you would notice that it had changed positions and you would have to adjust the telescope to see it.
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