I’m always reminding people to look up.  If you do that tomorrow, you’ll get a mouthful of rain, but yesterday would have been a good day to glance up to the heavens.  That’s what Doreen Byrne Stoodley was doing when she spotted something she thought was quite unusual: the moon.  It was around 3pm and the moon was about 68 % full.

Seeing the moon high in the sky during the day is not uncommon. 

There are a few reasons why the Moon can be seen during the daytime.  The moon’s proximity to our planet and surface composition is part of it but the main reason is:  the Lunar Cycle – the nature of the Moon’s orbit around Earth.

Like most moons, ours is in “synchronous rotation” with our planet, which means one side is constantly facing towards the Earth. The Moon makes a complete orbit around Earth every 27.3 days.  During that time, the Moon goes through 8 phases.

The sun always illuminates only half of the moon, which we see from different angles as it rotates around the Earth. At the beginning of the cycle, we can't ee the Moon because none of its illuminated side is pointed towards Earth. This is known as a “New Moon”.  Over the course of the next 29.5 days, the Moon will go through the phases of Waxing Crescent, First Quarter,  and Waxing Gibbous before appearing as a Full Moon. Then it completes the cycle by going through the phases of Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent before returning to a New Moon. 

All this to say, the moon is up in the daytime as often as at night. It’s only the full moon that rises in the east as the sun is setting in the west that reigns in the sky all night long; only one night each month!

Thanks for asking Doreen.  If you’re curious about something, drop me a line… I’ll do my best to answer it!

 

Chief Meteorologist

Cindy Day