Why the inhabitants of the Earth can sometimes see the moon during the day: how scientists explain it
send to Telegram
share on Facebook
send to Viber
send to Whatsapp
send to Messenger
If the Earth had no atmosphere, our satellite could be seen both at night and during the day. But our planet has an atmosphere, so what's the secret?
People are used to observing the Moon only at night, although sometimes it can be seen in the daytime sky. Why this happens and why during the day our satellite can not be seen as often as some would like, scientists explain in an article for the publication Live Science.
The main reason people can see the Moon is because it reflects light from the Sun and, due to its proximity to Earth, is the second brightest object in the sky after our star, scientists say. That is why the Moon can be seen at night, and sometimes even during the day. But the moon is not always visible during the daytime. This is due both to the Earth's atmosphere itself and to the orbital cycle of our satellite.
According to scientists, if there were no atmosphere on Earth, then when viewed from its surface, the Moon could be seen around the clock. But the Moon has its own phases, and when it moves between the Earth and the Sun, its illuminated side is not always turned towards us. And this makes it almost invisible from the surface of the planet.
“Particles of different gases in our atmosphere scatter sunlight, and for the Moon to be visible during the day, its light must overcome this scattered sunlight. This light is so bright that during the day it outshines the light of stars, but not always outshines light reflected by the Moon,” says Edward Guinan (of Villanov University, Pennsylvania, USA).
According to Guinan, the light of stars seen from Earth is a million billion times less bright than the light of the Sun, and in millions of times weaker than the light of the moon.
Astronomers use surface brightness to estimate the apparent brightness of objects in space, such as galaxies or nebulae. To do this, they measure the amount of light that reaches the Earth in the region of the night sky observed from our planet. Since the Moon is closer to the Earth than the stars, its surface brightness is greater than the surface brightness of the sky, which means that we can easily see it shine in daylight.
But how well the moon will be visible during the day is affected by the season in which the observation takes place, the current phase of the moon, and how cloudless the sky is.
According to scientists, our satellite can be seen during the daytime for about 25 days of each month. On other days, the Moon is either in the phase of a new moon or a full moon. And so it can only be seen at night. The moon is visible in the sky for about 12 hours a day, but its appearance does not always coincide with daylight hours. For example, in winter at some latitudes, when the day is shorter here, the Moon is not so easy to catch during the day.
“The moon is best seen during the day, a week after the new moon and a week after the full moon. In the first case, our satellite visible in the afternoon, in the second case – in the morning. During these periods, the Moon can be observed during the day for several hours, sometimes for 5-6 hours a day, “says Guinan.
As already written < em>Focus, scientists figured out how the moon appeared. True, the new study only confirmed the long-standing theory about the origin of our satellite, although an important refinement to this hypothesis has appeared.