How to Calculate the Time of Moonrise Today
A common lunar puzzle involves finding when the Moon will rise each night. Folks who enjoy the outdoors and the wonders of nature may wish to commit to memory the words on this handy chart. Knowing when the Moon will rise will help you to enjoy every evening outside!
What is the Definition of Moonrise?
Moonrise is defined as the moment when the upper edge of the Moon’s disk touches the horizon.
Finding Moonrise Times
- Moonrise (and, incidentally, the time of high tide) occurs about 50 minutes later each day than the day before.
- To determine the time of moonrise for each day of the month, just add 50 minutes for each day after a phase or subtract 50 minutes for each day prior to a new phase.
- In following the chart below, care must be taken when using the terms Moon and midnight. These are affected by adjustments for daylight saving time and to a lesser degree by one’s longitude in a particular time zone. (Sunrise and sunset, of course, are definitive times regardless of people’s tamperings with the clock.)
|The new Moon always rises near sunrise.|
|The first quarter Moon always rises near noon.|
|The full Moon always rises near sunset.|
|The last quarter Moon always rises near midnight.|
Why is the New Moon Invisible?
The new Moon is invisible because it is approximately between Earth and the Sun, so the dark half of the Moon is facing us and the sunlit half is facing the Sun. (Sometimes, the new Moon is directly in front of the Sun, in which case we’d see a solar eclipse.)
One or two days after the date of the new Moon, we can see it in the western sky as a thin crescent setting just after sunset.
How Can a Full Moon Be Visible During the Day?
Since the Moon has no light of its own but merely reflects sunlight, we see a full Moon rise in the east when the Sun is setting in the west. Sometimes the Moon rise/set and Sun rise/set times overlap, so you can see the Full Moon during the day.
More Moon Facts
A little confused about some of these Moon terms? Check out our glossary of lunar terms.
Why does the Moon sometimes look so big when it’s rising? Find out!
Check out our Monthly Moon Phase Calendar to find out the phase of the Moon tonight!