Here’s Why You Can See the Moon During the Day

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When thinking about the Moon, many find themselves wondering what it was like to walk on it as Neil Armstrong did. They also find themselves wondering why the Moon is often still visible during the day even though it’s always associated with night. It turns out that there’s a fairly simple explanation behind it.

Debunking Moon Myths

Keen sky observers may have noticed the Moon doesn’t follow a strict schedule because sometimes it makes an early appearance before nightfall. The Moon, like stars and planets, is always present, but its daytime visibility is often overshadowed by the radiant Sun and a bright daytime sky.

The Moon doesn’t make its own light, relying on illumination from the sun that reflects off of its surface, and this happens both during the day and at night. When it goes through waxing and waning phases, it’s so close to Earth that it’s often able to “shine” brighter than the sky, which is why we can see it.

Lunar Ballet: Daytime Magic Revealed

This was confirmed by Sarah Noble, a planetary geologist and NASA scientist. In a NASA video, she highlights that the Moon’s brightness graces both parts of the day when it’s in the “right part” of the sky. When it isn’t, it’s either harder to see or completely invisible to the naked eye.

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Weather and clouds also affect the Moon’s daytime appearances. Noble shares that during a full Moon, it stands opposite the Sun. As Earth pirouettes, the Moon rises when the Sun sets, turning the sky into a cosmic ballet. Before a full Moon, seek its glow in the east at sunset; after, catch its descent in the west after sunrise.