Kate Rogers, of Lyttelton West School, asks :-
Why does the moon shine during the day?
Jim Coxon,a member of the Canterbury Astronomical Society, responded.
The Moon has no light of its own. It reflects some of the light it receives from the Sun back to you, in much the same way as a mirror reflects light. The Moon is in fact, a very poor 'mirror'. It reflects less than a tenth of the sunlight which falls on it, but in spite of that, the Moon is close enough to the Earth to appear as a sizeable disk, Its position, relative to the Sun and Earth, often allows sufficient sunlight to be reflected, so that the Moon can be seen in daylight.
The Moon rises later each day. When the Moon rises or sets at the same time - or nearly the same time - as the Sun, we usually do not see it, because the Sun's light is not falling on the face of the Moon visible to us. This is around the time of New Moon. When the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth than the Sun, the Sun's light falls on the Moon's surface facing us. We refer to this as a Full Moon.
Between New and Full Moon, the Moon can often be seen in the sky at the same time as the Sun. Sufficient sunlight is being reflected from the Sun to make part of the Moon visible even in daylight.