Ask Storm Team 11: Why would the moon be out during the day?

Ask Storm Team 11

Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question was: “How come I can see the moon in the sky during the middle of the day sometimes?”

We often think of the moon coming out as the sun goes down, but that’s really only the case about once a month: when you have a full moon. In the case of a full moon, the moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, and you can see the moon throughout the night.

Almost every day, the moon is visible during the day at some point though because the moon reflects the sun’s light. When the moon is high enough in the sky during the day, it reflects more light making it appear brighter in the sky.  

The lunar cycle lasts about 29 days and it rises almost an hour later each day. That’s why you don’t see it in the sky at the same time every day.

In order to see the moon during the day, the sun has to be up in the sky at the same time. 
The best time to see the moon during the day is when the moon is in its first quarter and last quarter phases. 

You can’t see the moon during the day or at night during the new moon phase. That’s because, during this part of the lunar cycle, the moon is between the sun and earth. The side of the moon that gets illuminated by the sun is facing away from earth and all of the sunlight is getting reflected away from our eyes. 

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

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