Why is there a Daytime Moon?

Daytime sun in a blue sky
Daytime Moon in New Zealand: NASA

The moon is always in the sky.  Whether it is day time or night time the moon still orbits Earth.  It’s much easier to see at night time against the back drop of the dark night sky.

For us to see the moon it has to be in orbit above our horizon.  It is above the horizon for about 12 hours a day.  So it’s quite possible to see the moon in the daytime.

Perhaps, it’s because we are so familiar with watching the moon at night, we don’t except to see it in a daytime sunlit sky and it’s a surprise when we do.

The moon appears lit up, bright and shiny. This is an illusion, the moon does not give out its own light.  It is bright because it reflects light it receives from the sun.  A portion of this reflected light reaches Earth, (between 3 and 12%).  The brighter the reflection, the more likely we are to see the moon in the daytime.

The daytime sky washes out the light from the stars, so we can’t see them.  The lit up moon is brighter and can shine through the day time sky.  (Also, Venus, Jupiter and Mars are sometimes visible in the daytime.)

My note to you

I hope I have understood and written well.  If anybody “out there” reads this and can add anything,  clarify my writing or confirm that’s it’s ok info, I’d really appreciate it.  I’d hate to use this to explain to Kam, then work out I’ve totally missed the plot!

My next post will be on the phases of the moon.  I decided that although the phases of the moon are a  part of why we sometimes see the moon in the sky they are largely a separate issue.  Perhaps, when I have posted that post, I’ll add something here as well. X




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