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Astronomical question and answer 261


Frank L. Preuss


Can one still see the moon two days before new moon?


Today I observed the rising of the moon, because I wanted to see, whether the moon will be visible two days before new moon.

The moon was supposed to rise less than three hours before sunrise. I have seen it only a quarter of an hour after the announced rise. First the point of rising at the horizon was not in my field of vision and second it was too hazy above the horizon.

And because it was hazy, I have seen it only after it was a little higher, and then it was also in my view.

The point of rising of the moon was supposed to deviate 6 degrees from the point of rising of the sun. The point of rising of the sun at the horizon is in my view.

The moon was reddish and showed downwards, there where the sun was, which followed it.

The crescent was already very thin, but I thought whether I would still be able see the moon early tomorrow.

It is now more than a week after solstice. I have just looked again at the astronomical table for the moon for this month and there was one day, at which it was said, "Moon does not pass the meridian on this day. Data is only calculated for days where the moon passes the meridian (typically the highest point in the sky). This does not happen today because it usually takes more than 24 hours between each passing, so the previous time was late the date ahead and the next time is early in the day after."

From sunrise to sunrise it is always one day; from moonrise to moonrise it is always more than one day, and so it can be that there are days, where there is no meridian passing of the moon, or where there is no moonrise or moonset. Or where there are no two highpoints of high ebb or low ebb, but only one.

I have now been outside again. The moon is now already more yellow then red, stands higher and has also already turned more.

I have now been outside once again. I have seen the whole moon. It consists of three parts. There is once that part, which is illuminated by the sun, now very brightly, and yellow. Then there is the biggest part of the moon; it is illuminated by the earth, considerably darker, but clearly visible, perhaps a little reddish. And then there is the fine outer half ring of the moon around the sunless part of the moon. This ring is quite bright.

That I can seee the moon well, probalby means, that the sky is cloudless.

I have now been outside a fourth time. I now had a look out for stars. Only after some searching did I see two, high above me, and quite pale. The lights of the city do not allow more. Perhaps it is also hazy, but it is difficult to say this. At the horizon it has been hazy, whether it is still hazy there, is also difficult to say.

The birds are already busy chirping. Nothing is yet seen of twilight. Some birds make quite a noise.

It is now a good hour before sunrise. Above the buildings a third star has now emerged in the east.

It is now three quarters of an hour before sunrise. In the east twilight is clearly seen. The horizon is reddish. Form the three stars now only two are still seen. The moon is clearly visible.

It is now half an hour before sunrise. In the west twilight just starts. In the east it has progressed. The horizon is red. Directly above the horizon it is dark, therefore hazy. The moon is still visible very well, all three parts.

It is now hardly half an hour before sunrise. The sky starts to get blue, particularly in the east. No star is any longer to be seen. The moon gets paler. The horizon is gold-yellow. The atmosphere starts to win illuminating power. Some birds cause again a lot of noise. Others are chirping.

It is now a quarter of an hour before sunrise. The crescent moon is well visible. The rest of the moon disc is now dominated by the atmosphere.

It is now 10 minutes before sunrise. The crescent moon gets weaker. The horizon is hazy. I will probably not be able to seen the sunrise, although the place is in my view. The crescent moon points directly to this place.

Two minutes after sunrise I see the most upper part of the sun above a layer of haze. The sun is close to one sun disc width above the horizon. The moon is still visible. The crescent is white; the sky is blue.

It is now seven minutes after sunrise. The sun is now fully present. Gold-yellow-red. The crescent moon has become weaker. Some birds are still singing.

Now there are 12 minutes after sunrise. It becomes difficult to see into the sun. The moon is still there. But I almost only still see it, because I know, where I must look for it.

Now, a quarter of an hour after sunrise, it becomes difficult to find the moon in the sky. It also gets paler and is just still a thin line.

It is now half an hour after sunrise. When I go out, I do not see into the sun, then go into the shade and look at the moon. It is almost no longer visible and who does not exactly know, where he should search for it, would not find it. But it is hazy; with a clear sky one could certainly see it much better.

Now, close to one hour after sunset, the moon is no longer visible.

The day then proved to be fairly hazy. The sun shone the whole day; the sky was cloudless, but it was hazy.


This is the end of "Astronomical question and answer 261"
To the German version of this chapter: Astronomische Frage und Antwort 261



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