The Daytime Moon


February 5th, 2017, 4:40 p.m. local time

It may be obvious from the hobbyist to the professional astronomer that the Moon is visible during the day.  But whenever I bring up this point to non-stargazers, many times they do not believe it.  Likely, they were taught in elementary school that the Sun is for the day and the Moon is for night, and it just stuck with them.  They don’t look up at the sky nearly as often as they should.

On Sunday I took a picture of the Waxing Gibbous Moon, already high in the East.  I think the “pre” full Moon phases are the ones most people will be familiar with.  But once the Moon passes from full, it remains in the sky for sunrise during its waning phases, first in the West but gradually moving back each day towards the East.  Once I observed a very faint waning gibbous Moon on a bright sunny early afternoon.

Thinking about the day/Sun & night/Moon dichotomy, I wonder what the ancients thought of seeing the Moon during the day?  How did they explain it?  I tried to jog my memory from school but cannot recall this ever being talked about.


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