You are here:

Astronomy/the moon laying on its back


hello, May i ask why the sight of the moon ''laying on its back'' is much less common that seeing it from right to left. Thank you

Hi Cromar

The moon looks like it is lying on its back when it sets about an hour or two after sunset.  That's when the light of the sun illuminates only the crescent moon.  That only happens about two days a month, just before sunset.  

The rest of the time, the illumination of the moon slowly cycles thought from crescent to full and back.  That not only last for more than 20 days, but the moon also sets later each night, so it is easier to see!

Hope that helps.

Paul Wagner


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Paul Wagner


Astronomy and telescope making. Have made at least seven telescopes, both refractors and reflectors, and have spent 30 years looking at the nighttime sky.

©2017 All rights reserved.