Why Can We Sometimes See the Moon During the Day?

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Good morning, moon. Didn’t realize you decided to stick around after we bid farewell last night. What are you doing up in that blue sky anyway? It’s not really your thing. To quote Rory Scovel in his hilarious takedown of you and your daytime displays, “You don’t see the Sun coming out in the nighttime, do ya? Show some respect.”

As it turns out, whether or not we can see the moon during the day depends on the brightness of its light—which is really just the sun’s light reflecting off of the moon’s surface—and the earth’s rotation.

In order for the moon to be visible in the sky, it needs to be above the horizon. On average, the moon is above the horizon for 12 hours a day. Some of those 12 hours are bound to coincide with the sun’s—producing a daytime moon. Which, despite how exciting it can be to see, isn’t that rare. In fact, the moon is visible during the day nearly every day, except for when it’s close to a new moon or is a full moon. 

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December 10, 2013 - 9:30am
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