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Unread 02-13-2016, 12:56 AM
Horizons Horizons is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2016
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Full Moon


So it is stated the full moons occur when the sun is facing opposite to the moon and thus reflecting the sun head on from the perspective of the Earth.

My question is, and pardon me if I may seem ignorant, how can the side of the moon reflecting the sun straight on be visible to us at night? Wouldn't there be a shadow cast on the side of the moon which is facing the Earth, if the Earth is between the moon and the sun?

Here is an ascii illustration for clarification:

O = Moon
0 = Sun
E = Earth
-/| = Sunlight

Half Moon:


Full Moon:


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Unread 02-13-2016, 01:19 AM
Rawiri's Avatar
Rawiri Rawiri is offline
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Re: Full Moon

Sometimes. That would of course be a lunar eclipse.

However, most of the time the moon, sun and earth are not lined up in such a "straight line" that will cause a shadow of the earth to cover the moon. The moon travels along a different plane.

To keep with the ASCII format you used:

O----E----0 would cause a lunar eclipse.

But most of the time, that is not how the moon is positioned when there is a full moon. It is more like this:

Thus no shadow of the earth passes onto the moon and it is fully visible as a full moon.

Last edited by Rawiri; 02-13-2016 at 01:21 AM.
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Unread 02-13-2016, 04:25 AM
Horizons Horizons is offline
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Re: Full Moon

Thanks for the reply. That clears it up!
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full, moon

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