Science

Why can we see the Moon in broad daylight? – Sciences and future

Why can we see the Moon during the day? In a NASA video, published on December 22, 2021 on YouTube, Sarah Noble, a specialist in the moon star of the American space agency, recognizes it: it is naturally associated with the night. But it is wrong. Also, surely you have seen it yourself in a corner of the sky in broad daylight. This is why.

The exception of the full moon

Ultimately, the answer is simple: “The Moon spends roughly the same time in the daytime sky as it does in the night sky,” emphasizes the researcher about this coveted star. Our perception of the presence of our satellite is skewed during the day because it becomes much more difficult to see later. “Unlike the Sun, the Moon does not create its own light. We can only see it when sunlight reflects off its surface, Ms. Noble says. This is also true during the day, and unlike stars that are also always up during the day but we can’t see because the sky is too light, the moon is bright enough “to stand out even during the day. But not everyday.

In fact, during a full moon, you are facing the Sun with the Earth in the middle (see diagram below). Then it rises, and only on that day of the month, just as the Sun sets, and sets when it rises. “In the days preceding the full moon, if you look in the eastern sky, you can find the ‘almost’ full moon rising before sunset,” explains the American specialist. And after the full moon, you can logically find it in the western sky: the moon sets after sunrise.

To be visible in broad daylight, the Moon must be bright enough but also high enough in the sky and far enough from the Sun. “Due to the rotation of the Earth, the Moon is above the horizon about 12 hours a day. Since these 12 hours almost never coincide with the approximately 12 hours of daylight every 24 hours, the possible window to observe the Moon in daylight is on average 6 hours a day “almost every day, for therefore, it specifies the specialized site Space.com. “

Credits: INNA BIGUN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / IBI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THROUGH AFP

A planned return to the moon

The lunar star is still the subject of all the attention. Half a century after the Apollo missions, the United States is preparing to fire astronauts on it, a program expected to cost nearly $ 100 billion according to estimates by NASA’s Office of the Inspector General. Called Artemis, this exploration aims, initially (phase 1), to deploy a crew on the lunar soil and to prepare, later (phase 2), a lasting human presence on our natural satellite.

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