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Astronomical question and answer 216


Frank L. Preuss


What is seen four days after new moon?


There is sunshine; almost no clouds are in the sky; the whole morning I have again and again looked into the blue sky and seen no moon.

Now, so about one and a half hour after midday, I suddenly see the moon in the sky; I had almost given up.

The crescent is so about between new moon and waxing half-moon. Points directly towards the sun. Is still in the east. The sun is already in the west. The sunless part cannot be seen; the atmosphere is more illuminating.

Why didnít I see the moon in the morning?

I have a look at the weather prediction. There is actually nothing what indicates a difference between morning and now. The percentages for the cloud cover and the fog show no differences.

The amount of fog is given as 0 %. But I am of the opinion, that it is a little hazy.

I come to the conclusion that I probably must have overlooked the moon, but I have really carefully looked out and also particularly there, where I expected it to be, and the present position of the moon actually confirms that I was not wrong.

It is of course quite a large area that one must search and the colour differences are of course little. The sky is light blue and the moon white.

But what I now detect is that the sky is light blue, there where the moon is, high up in the sky, but that this light blue becomes the whiter, the more one turns to the horizon in the east, above the sea. There the sky is almost white, and distinguishes itself relatively sharp from the dark blue sea.

In the west it is almost the same; there the sky gets less blue the more one turns towards the horizon above the landscape, but that refers particularly to the area under the sun, further to the south and further to the north the difference is less.

And the whiter the sky is, the more difficult it is then also to see the white moon.

It is now two and half hours after midday, and the sun and the moon are so about on the same level and the moon still in the east. The line between the two points of the crescent is now almost vertically.

It is now almost 4 hours after midday and the moon stands in north south direction. The line between both points of the crescent has crossed the vertical and the crescent now points in the direction of the sun now standing deeper.

When the man in the moon observes the crescent of the earth, let us say also shortly after new earth, then he sees every couple of hours a completely different part of the earth. And that is, because the earth rotates once around itself in 24 hours. But the man on earth always sees the same part of the moon, when he looks at the crescent of the moon every couple of hours. And that is, because the moon needs one month to once turn around itself. With full moon for example he even sees the same picture of the moon several days.

It is now a good hour before sunset. It is still a little hazy. The sun is a golden round disc in a large ring of rays. One can almost already look into the sun.

Now is sunset. The angle between the sun and the moon is so 50 to 60 degrees. The sky up at the moon is blue. At the horizon more white.

The outer edge of the crescent is sharp, the inner frayed. The sunless part of the moon cannot be seen; the atmosphere is still more illuminating.

Half an hour after sunset the sky around the moon is already more black than blue and the moon crescent stands out clearer and is brighter. No star can be seen until now. At the horizon the sky is still white, but has become noticeably darker and goes into reddish.

Immediately after it the sunless part of the moon is reddish. The first star has emerged. But the stars remain few, because of the lights of the city. The sky is still cloudless.

Now it is 3 days until waxing half-moon.

It is now 1 hour after sunset. Some clouds have emerged. The horizon in the west is still clearly seen and the sky there still not completely dark. Several stars are now in the sky. The moon will still need hours until it sets.

About 4 hours after sunset the moon sets. As the last thing the upper point of the moon crescent stands out. The sky was partly cloudy, also the horizon. Whether the sunless part was cloudy, was not noticeable. The upper clouds one can see, because they are illuminated by the lights of the city.


This is the end of "Astronomical question and answer 216"
To the German version of this chapter: Astronomische Frage und Antwort 216



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