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See a daytime moon around now

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Tonight – April 13, 2017 – the moon is in a waning gibbous phase. That means it rises in the east later than it did last night. And it will rise later and later each evening, which means you can catch the daytime moon over your western horizon after sunrise the next few mornings. Sylvia asked:

When is the best time to see the moon in the sky during daylight hours?

And the answer is that the upcoming week is a good time to look. For example, view the moon in your eastern sky before going to bed this evening, April 13, and then look for the moon low in your western sky right after sunrise, April 14.

The daytime moon is up there much of the time, but, because it’s pale against the blue sky, it’s not as noticeable as the moon at night. The most noticeable moon at night is the one that stays out all night long, in other words, around the time of full moon each month. A full moon rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. The last full moon was April 11, 2017 at 6:08 UTC.

In the days following full moon – in other words, around now – the waning gibbous moon is rising later each night and setting in the west later each day after sunrise.

So, in the several mornings following full moon – after sunrise – look for the waning gibbous moon in the west during the morning hours. At mid-northern latitudes in North America, the moon will set about an hour (or more) after sunrise on April 14, 2017, and it’ll set roughly 45 minutes later after sunrise each day thereafter.

These recommended almanacs can help you find the moon’s setting time in your sky

By the way, the moon is up during the day half the time. It has to be, since it orbits around the whole Earth once a month. The crescent moon is hard to see because it’s so near the sun in the sky. At the vicinity of last quarter moon about a week from now, you might have to crane your neck, looking up, to notice it after sunrise.

Ordinarily, we don’t look up to see the waning last quarter moon and waning crescent after sunrise.

That’s one reason why people so often miss the moon during the day.

Day by day, the lighted portion of the waning gibbous moon will shrink and the half-lit last quarter moon will come on April 19. Watch for the daytime moon to climb higher and higher into the western sky at sunrise all this coming week!

Daytime moon Dec. 18, 2010

Daytime moon via Brian Pate. Used with permission.

Bottom line: Starting around April 14, 2017 look for the daytime moon in the west after sunrise.

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Bruce McClure

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