- Published: 18 September 2009
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Eileen Bower, aged 12, of Kingston, Ohio for her question:
Where does the moon get its light?
You surely have had fun with a flashlight. You can get the best results at night. Then the light beams show up clear and bright in the darkness. Shine the flashlight on a beach ball in a dark room, The light falling on the ball shines right back at yau.
The moon gets its light from a giant flashlight. This flashlight is a round ball of blazing gases ‑ the sun. Sunlight strikes on the face of the moon, Naturally it falls on the side of the moon which happens to be facing the sun, The other side of the moon is in darkness,
The sunlit part of the moon bounces some of its golden light along to us. Sometimes we see all of the sunlit half of the moon, Then the moon is full, round like a coin. Sometimes me see only a sliver of sunlight on the moon ‑ the new sickle moon. This is because the side of the moon facing us is mostly in shadow. It is facing away from the sun. At these times, the sun is shining over the side of the moon opposite from us.