Breakdown: Why the moon isn’t always visible

Breakdown: Why you can't see the moon

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There are several reasons why the moon isn’t always visible. One of the more obvious reasons is weather conditions. If there are a lot of clouds in place, naturally, this will mean we won’t see the moon. However you may notice the light behind the clouds. Some of the other reasons that you may not see the moon is due to it’s position in the sky and the moon’s phase.

The Moon orbits the Earth. As it sits in space, through the majority of its orbit, half of it is lit on one side, and the other side is dark. Half is facing towards the Sun, and the other half is not. The new moon phase happens monthly when we can’t see the moon and this is because of our view from Earth, as the moon orbits us. During the new moon phase the moon is between the sun and earth and the side that is lit is facing away. During the new moon phase, no sunlight is reflected by the moon and the side that is all lit up is facing away from earth.

During the new moon phase, the moon is not visible but sometimes you can tell it is there by the absence of the stars that it may be covering up. At times during the new moon phase there may be just enough light that is reflected off the surface of the Earth that the disk of the moon is faintly visible, according to astronomers.

The opposite is true of the full moon when the moon is very visible. During a Full Moon, the moon is situated almost opposite of where it is located during the new moon phase. During the full moon phase, we can see the whole lit half of the moon.

The moon moves around 13 degrees eastward in the sky, according to astronomers. For that reason, it is not always visible at the same time each day or in the same position in the sky.

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