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After sunup, look for the daytime moon

Beginning around now – around the morning of July 1, 2018 – watch for the daytime moon. No matter where you are on Earth, look generally westward after sunrise in the next few mornings to see the moon in a clear blue daytime sky.

Why can you see the moon in the daytime now? The full moon took place on the night of June 27-28. That means the moon is now in a waning gibbous phase, rising after nightfall and setting in a westward direction after sunrise. This upcoming week, you can see the daytime moon in the morning sky. If you look for the moon at the same time every morning, you’ll see the moon climbing higher and higher up into the sky each day all week long.

By July 6, the moon will be at the last quarter phase – rising around midnight and southward around dawn. By July 13, the new moon will swing a touch south of the sun, so it won’t be visible in our sky – unless you’re so far south on the globe as to witness the partial eclipse of the sun.

People love to see the daytime moon. They wonder about it, and ask about it. Once, a reader in Kansas City wrote in with the name “children’s moon” to describe a moon visible during the day. She said this name stemmed from the idea that children can’t stay up at night late enough to see the moon when it appears only in darkness.

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Daytime moon of May 27, 2012, seen from Ireland.  Photo by Damian O'Sullivan.  Thank you, Damian!  See more moon photos on EarthSky’s Facebook page.

Daytime moon of May 27, 2012, seen from Ireland. Photo by Damian O’Sullivan. Thank you, Damian!

That story prompted another reader to send in an alternate version for the origin of the name children’s moon. She wrote:

I heard a daytime moon was called a ‘children’s moon’ because their eyes were sharp enough to pick it out, where the old folks, with fading vision, could not tell it from the clouds.

Can you see the daytime moon in the next few mornings?

Bottom line: In the days after every full moon, the moon appears in the west after sunrise, in a blue sky. Watch for it.

A planisphere is virtually indispensable for beginning stargazers. Order your EarthSky planisphere today.

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