The Moon Light World Map shows in which parts of the world the Moon is currently above the horizon.

What Does the Moon Light World Map Show?

The world map

The Moon and Sun icons on the world map show the position of the Moon and the Sun at the selected time and date. They mark the locations where the Moon and the Sun appear in the zenith, directly overhead.

The overlapping shadings show where the Moon and the Sun are above the horizon at the selected moment. The light area surrounding the Moon symbol is where the Moon is above the horizon; the light area surrounding the Sun symbol symbolizes daytime.

By default, it shows the current situation at the time you load the page. If you would like to select a different point in time,

  • click on the Jump to links to move a certain amount of time forward or back in time;
  • click on the seasons links (e.g., March equinox) to select one of the astronomical seasons;
  • or use the fields under Find the Moon at Another Time in a Location to enter any date and time. The At Location field determines to which time zone the date and time fields should refer.

The selected date and time are displayed at the bottom of the map, both in UTC and in the local time of your home location.

Problems? See “The Moon is supposed to be above the horizon, but I don't see it in the sky! What's wrong?” and “How do I change my home location?” in the FAQ section below.

Moon phase

This section shows the previous and next Moon phase and the current illumination percentage. Note that this information refers to the date and time you select, which may be different from the current situation.

Click on the links in the table to jump to the date and time for the listed Moon phase.

Problems? See “What does 'Fraction of moon illuminated' mean?” in the FAQ section below.

Position of the Moon

The Moon symbol in the map shows the Moon's position at the selected date and time. The Position of the Moon section below the map provides more details:

  • The geographical coordinates where the Moon appears in the zenith position (directly overhead).
  • The speed at which the place where the Moon appears in the zenith position is moving across the surface of the Earth.
  • The table displays information about the Moon's position 1 minute, 1 hour, and 24 hours from the selected point in time:
    • Longitude Difference shows how much the Moon will have moved west or east in Degrees of longitude and in terms of Distance across the Earth's surface. Note that the distance displayed here applies only to the Moon's movements along the east-west axis. The total distance is shown in the column on the right. The Direction column shows in which direction the zenith position will have moved after the respective amount of time.
    • Latitude Difference shows the same as Longitude Difference, but for the south-north axis.
    • Total Distance shows the actual distance the Moon's zenith position will have moved across the Earth's surface.

Problems? See “Why does it say that the Moon moves east?” in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below.

Locations with the Moon near zenith

This section provides an overview of locations where the Moon appears in or near the zenith position (directly overhead) at the selected time and date.

  • Local Time shows the current local time in each location.
  • Distance shows each location's distance from the place where the Moon appears in the zenith position.
  • Direction indicates in which direction you would have to travel to get from the place where the Moon appears in the zenith position to the respective location in the list.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it possible to fast forward or rewind?

The map is static and shows the situation at the time you loaded the page or for the selected point in time. While it is not possible to continuously fast forward or rewind, you can use the Jump to links below the map to move a certain amount of time forward or back in time.

Why does it say that the Moon moves east?

The Direction column in the table under Position of the Moon usually shows that the Moon has moved east. This may be confusing since the Earth's rotation always causes the Moon to constantly move west from our perspective.

However, this only happens in the 24 hours row which displays the difference in the Moon's zenith position between the selected point in time and 24 hours after it. In that amount of time, the Moon has moved, from our perspective, so far west that it has nearly come full circle. However, since it moves in the same direction as the rotation of the Earth during the course of a lunar month, it always ends up a little farther east than 24 hours before.

What does zenith mean?

It's the location in the sky that is directly above you. Find more information here.

What does “Fraction of moon illuminated” mean?

This indicates how much of the Moon's visible surface is illuminated by the Sun at the selected moment. It's 0% around New Moon and 100% around Full Moon

Does the Moon symbol show lunar eclipses?

Yes, if you select the date and time of a lunar eclipse, the Moon symbol shows the Earth's shadow on the Moon. Here's an example.

How do I change my home location?

Go to My Location, enter a location, and click Save.

Are the headings based on true north or magnetic north?

All headings are based on true north.

Why are the date fields in the wrong order?

You can change the order of the Day, Month, and Year fields by selecting a different Short Date format in My Units.

The distance is shown in the wrong format. How do I change to miles or kilometers?

To change the distance unit, go to My Units and make a selection in the Distance/Visibility menu.

Why isn't my town included?

Our database of locations includes thousands of cities worldwide, and we now offer an additional 6 million places via the GeoNames database. If you still don't find your town, please let us know, and we will consider adding it.

The time has the wrong format. How do I change between the 24-hour and AM/PM clock?

Our system supports both 24-hour and 12-hour (am/pm) clock formats. To change the format, please go to My Units and make a selection in the Time Format drop-down, and click Save Settings.

I've heard rumors. Is the map really based on a flat Earth model?

No. The Earth is a globe.

Where can I find more information about the site and its services?

The General FAQ Page answers your questions about timanddate.com, our services, site-wide settings and customization options, as well as advertising and copyright policies.

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