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I was born in 1949. When I was young we played outside and watched the clouds and the sky a lot, and I don't remember ever seeing the moon during the day. Is the sun closer to us now so we see it more often or has earth shifted enough to change how we see the moon?

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closed as off-topic by ACuriousMind, Martin, Danu, Qmechanic Sep 10 at 22:58

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Perhaps misremembering is a more logical explanation than drastic rearrangement of the solar system? – DilithiumMatrix Apr 22 '13 at 20:43
When faced with a question involving personal recollections, always doubt your own senses first. – Dmitry Brant Apr 22 '13 at 20:51
Were you trying to find the Moon back then? If you were not searching specifically for the Moon, it may hapen that you have actually seen it multiple times, but you just ignored it, because you were looking at something else. Human brain normally filters out the parts of the visual field that are not the subject of your attention. See this video: – mpv Jul 24 '14 at 7:36
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is asking for an explanation of something that is simply not the case. – ACuriousMind Sep 10 at 0:15

3 Answers 3

Believe it or not, the Moon was visible during the day in 1949. In fact, the Moon has always been visible during the day at certain parts of the lunar cycle. We know this is true not only because of models of the Earth-Moon system, but there is historical evidence of it!

There are records dating back to ancient China in 2800 BCE of solar eclipses, which are perhaps the most irrefutable evidence of the Moon being present during the day. See this link for the specifics:

As to why you never observed it during the day, I can only guess. Perhaps you were extremely unlucky and it was always covered by clouds in your area.

But to answer your question, there is no relevant/significant difference in the Sun-Earth-Moon system between 1949 and now.

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During daylight, you can only see the moon when the sun is fairly low in the sky and in the correct phase.

For example, about 1 week after full moon you should be able to see it in the morning when the sun is not very high in the eastern sky. At that time, the 1/2 moon should be quite visible between vertically and into the western sky.

Similarly, about 1 week before full moon, you should be able to see the 1/2 moon in the eastern sky when the sun is low in the west.

In the middle of the day, it will be very hard to see the moon.

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What is "fairly low" and "not very high" in terms of angles? – Kyle Kanos Jun 23 at 0:50
@Kyle: You need to see it when the moon is in a phase such that there's a good bit of it to see, and that determines the angle at the viewer between the moon and the sun. At half-moon, for example, the angle is $90^0$, so if the moon is high in the sky, the sun is low. On the other hand, if the moon is full, the angle is $180^0$, so you can't really see both at the same time (if there are any obstructions around you like trees or buildings). – Mike Dunlavey Jun 23 at 11:42

50 years is nothing on an astronomical scale, so my guess is: you just didn't notice it/pay attention to it/don't remember correctly.

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protected by Qmechanic Jul 24 '14 at 7:51

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