With a few clear days and nights ahead of us, I thought I would take a moment to talk about the moon and answer a great question I received from Elizabeth Frank. “Why is it that when you see the moon rise in the summer shortly after sunset, it’s always a full moon and not another phase?
At a full moon, the earth, moon, and sun are in approximate alignment – with the moon on the opposite side of the earth. The entire sunlit part of the moon is facing us. The shadowed portion is completely hidden from view.
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So in order for the moon to appear fully illuminated by the sun we have to be in between them. In other words, when the moon is full, the sun is opposite it in the sky and we are in the middle. The full moon always rises in the east as the sun is setting in the western sky. The moon comes up about 48 minutes later each night.
On Sunday, look for the last quarter moon. It will rise just after 11 p.m. ADT Saturday night and set just before 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Did you know the moon has such a thin atmosphere that a layer of dust or a footprint can sit undisturbed for centuries?
Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.