Liberal Arts Blog — The Mystery of the Day Time Moon

John Muresianu
4 min readFeb 19, 2024

Liberal Arts Blog — Monday is the Joy of Math, Statistics, Shapes, and Numbers Day

Today’s Topic: The Mystery of the Day Time Moon

How you ever looked up skyward during the day and been surprised to see the moon? It always comes as a pleasant surprise to me. But have you ever done the math?

How many days of the month is the moon visible during the day? Is it visible in every one of its major phases (crescent, half, and gibbous) other than, obviously, its “new moon”phase? Is it visible in every season?

“A very common misconception in astronomy is that the moon is directly opposite the sun in the sky. In fact, the moon is only in this position for a single instant in the whole lunar month: the exact time of full moon when it is 180 degrees away from the sun. The rest of the month it can be anywhere from 0 to180 degrees away and, at least in theory, visible in the daytime sky.”

Today a few more notes. What moon facts fascinate you the most? How about the fact that it rotates around its own axis at exactly the periodicity that it rotates around the earth such that we earthlings only see one side of the moon despite the double rotation?

Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

THE MOON IS VISIBLE DURING THE DAY 25 DAYS PER MONTH THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

1. “The other five days occur around the new moon phase and the full moon.”

2. “Near the new moon phase, it is too close to the sun to be seen.”

3. “When it is near the full moon, it is only visible at night, because the moon rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. “

NB:” “The only day that it isn’t in the sky with the sun for some time is the full moon,

That day the sun sets and then the moon rises and the other way round, so that’s the only day where it’s not up there at the same time.”

THE SEASONALITY FACTOR — SHORTER DAYS IN WINTER

1. “The moon is above the horizon for 12 hours a day, but its appearance may not always coincide with daylight hours.”

2. “In winter, when days are shorter at mid-latitudes for example, there is less time for the moon to be visible during the day.”

THE BEST TIMES TO SEE THE DAYTIME MOON

1. “The best time to see the moon in daylight is during the first quarter (one week after the new moon) and third quarter (one week after the full moon).”

2. “In the first quarter, during the afternoon, our natural satellite can be seen rising in the eastern sky.”

3. “In the third quarter, it will be visible in the morning, setting in the western sky.”

NB: “These phases are the longest periods that the moon is visible with the sun in the sky, for an average of five to six hours a day.”

FOOTNOTE — THE NEW MOON IS NOT CAUSED BY THE SHADOW OF THE EARTH

Why can we sometimes see the moon in the daytime?

Why do we sometimes see the Moon during the day?

Why Do We See the Moon in Daylight?

Can you see a daytime moon? At what time? | Human World | EarthSky

PhasesMisconceptions

Top Moon Questions — NASA Science

QUOTE OF THE MONTH — Have you made your own Bible yet?

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My spin — then periodically review, re-rank, and exchange your list with those you love. I call this the “Orion Exchange” because seven is about as many as any human can digest at a time. Game?

ATTACHMENTS BELOW:

#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, (11/17/20)

#3 Israel-Palestine Handout

NB: Palestine Orion (Decision) — let’s exchange Orions, let’s find Rumi’s field (“Beyond all ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. Meet me there” Rumi, 13 century Persian Sufi mystic)

Last four years of posts organized thematically:

Updated PDFs — Google Drive

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to math, statistics, or numbers in general.

Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to math.

This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.