The question of the week: Why can you sometimes see the moon during the day?
|If you were to watch the moon every day at the same time, you would see that it moves a little further in the sky every day until it eventually appears on the other side of the horizon|
Every week we answer questions on all kinds of topics. Today's question: "Why can you sometimes see the moon during the day?" Here you get the answer.🔹 While the sun provides us with light and warmth during the day, the moon shines in the sky at night.
🔹 However, it does not shine itself, like the sun, but it is illuminated by the sun, like the earth.
As you certainly know, the universe is in constant motion, as is our solar system. The planets orbit our sun, just as the moon orbits the earth.
But the planets themselves also rotate on their own axis, which means that day and night can alternate.
The moon also rotates around the earth. Since it rotates on its own axis exactly with an orbit around the earth, we always see the same side of the moon from the earth. In astronomy this phenomenon is called "Tidal locking".
Because only one half of the earth is illuminated by the sun during the day, we perceive the moon more strongly at night than during the day, for example. Sunlight also hits the moon during the day, but we rarely see it on Earth because the glow is obscured by the brilliance of the air illuminated by the sun.
Half of the earth is illuminated by full sunlight, which is why the moon often looks so inconspicuous and pale. But that is not the reason why we can only observe it sometimes.
The phases of the moon
The moon goes through different phases from new moon to full moon. This is because the moon orbits the earth once in about 28 days.
Half of the time it spends on the night side of the Earth, the other half on the day side. So it is completely normal that we sometimes see the moon during the day.
The best time to see the moon is around full moon, when it orbits at night.
Sometimes the earth is directly between the sun and the moon, then there is a lunar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the sun and the earth.
To us humans it often seems as if the moon is moving much faster, but that is because the earth is also turning.
Tip: To help you imagine this better, the following experiment can help you:
In a room as dark as possible, place a room lamp in the middle of a table and choose two different sized fruits.
The lamp is your sun. For the earth you take the larger fruit, for the moon the smaller one. Place your "earth" near the lamp, then switch it on.
Then you take the "moon" and let it circle the "earth" with your hand. Now you should see that your "moon" goes through similar phases as the real moon does.
If you now imagine that the earth also turns on itself, you can well imagine why the moon changes its appearance.
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