The Moonrise & Moonset page offers Moon times and directions for any location. It also shows the current Moon phase and position in real-time.
Jump to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Does the Moonrise & Moonset Page Show?
Current Moon phase simulation
The Moon icon at the top shows approximately what the current Moon phase looks like from the selected location. The white part is the illuminated part, while the gray part is not currently visible. It changes in real-time. The percentage below the Moon image indicates how much of the visible lunar surface is currently illuminated by the Sun.
Note that the Moon phase illustration does not show whether the Moon is currently below the horizon or invisible due to clouds.
Current Moon position and distance
The area near the top of the page also includes information about the current position of the Moon from the perspective of the selected city. This updates in real-time, so it always shows the current situation.
- Moon Direction shows the direction (north, east, south, or west) of the Moon in three different formats:
Note: The direction is based on true north, not magnetic north.
- The arrow shows the Moon's direction as it would show on a standard map, where upwards means north, right means east, down is south, and left is west.
- The number next to the arrow provides the same information as an azimuth angle. As on a compass, the azimuth is measured in degrees, with 360 in a full circle, counted in a clockwise direction from north. North has an azimuth value of 0 degrees, east is 90 degrees, south is 180 degrees, and west is 270 degrees.
- The abbreviation provides a verbal indication of the approximate direction. Here, N means north, E means east, S means south, and W means west. So, for example, SSW is south-southwest.
- Moon Altitude is the vertical angle the Moon makes with the horizon. It shows how far up in the sky the Moon appears.
- Moon Distance states the current distance between the Earth and the Moon.
Problems? See “The distance is shown in the wrong format. How do I change to miles or kilometers?” in the FAQ section below.
Next Moon phases and rise/set
The date and time of the next New Moon and the next Full Moon can also be found near the top of the page, along with the date and time of the next moonrise or moonset.
Note that the Moon may not be visible in the selected location at the time it reaches each Moon phase.
Use the search field to open the Moonrise & Moonset Page for a different place or country. The search supports ZIP/postal codes for several countries, including the United States and Canada.
You can also enter geographic coordinates (longitude and latitude) to find the same information for any place on Earth.
Problems? See “The city search lists several places with the same name. Which is the one I'm looking for?” in the FAQ section below.
Time/General, Weather, Time Zone, DST, and Sun & Moon tabs
Use the navigation tabs next to the search field to access the General City Page (Time/General tab) or other sub-pages dedicated to specific topics, such as Weather, Time Zone, and DST Changes in the city.
Main table: Moonrise, Moonset, and Phase Calendar for...
The main body of the page shows a table with Moon times and other Moon data for the selected location for a month at a time. Use the drop-down menus above the table or the links below the table to select a different month. Click on a table row to see a graph showing the Moon's position throughout the selected day. See “Graph showing Moon position at any point in time” for more information.
- Date: Each row in the table shows Moon information for a specific date, which is displayed in the column on the left.
- Moon phases: The days of the main Moon phases are also marked in the column on the left. Hover your mouse over a Moon phase symbol to see the exact local time for the phase. For more detailed information about the Moon phases in the selected location, click on the Moon Phases tab above the table to open the Moon Phase City Page.
- Moonrise/Moonset: The next three columns show the local time of moonrise and moonset for each date in the selected month. This takes into account all Daylight Saving Time (DST) clock changes. It also includes the direction of the moonrise or moonset as an arrow and in degrees.
Problems? See “What do the arrows mean?” and “Why are there two Moonrise columns?” in the FAQ section below.
- Meridian Passing: The three columns on the right all refer to the instant when the Moon passes the meridian (longitude) of the selected location. This is also the moment when the Moon reaches its highest position in the sky.
- Time includes both the local time and the Moon's altitude at that moment. The altitude is the vertical angular distance between the horizon and the Moon. It indicates how far up the Moon appears in the sky. At 0 degrees, the Moon's center is on the horizon, at 90 degrees, it is in the zenith position directly overhead.
- Distance shows the Moon's distance from Earth at the moment of meridian passing—more specifically, the distance between the center of the Earth to the center of the Moon.
- Illumination shows the percentage of the Moon's visible surface that is illuminated by the Sun as the Moon passes the local meridian.
Problems? See “What does meridian mean?” and “What does 'Moon does not pass the meridian on this day' mean?” in the FAQ section below.
Graph showing Moon position at any point in time
Click on a row in the table under Moonrise, Moonset, and Phase Calendar for... to see a graph showing how the Moon's position changes throughout the selected day. The graph defaults to the current time. Move your mouse cursor over the graph to select a different time of day.
The box on the right shows the following data for the selected time:
- Altitude: the Moon's altitude is the vertical angle the Moon makes with the horizon. At 0 degrees, the Moon's center is on the horizon, at 90 degrees, it is in the zenith position directly overhead; negative values mean that the Moon is below the horizon.
- Heading: the Moon's azimuth refers to its cardinal direction. The azimuth is measured in degrees, with 360 degrees in a full circle, counted in a clockwise direction from north. North has an azimuth value of 0 degrees, east is 90 degrees, south is 180 degrees, and west is 270 degrees.
- Position: indicates if the Moon is above or below the horizon.
Why does it show the wrong moonrise or moonset times?
The rise and set times are based on the geographic coordinates displayed next to Lat/Long at the top of the General City Page, which you can access by clicking on the Time/General tab.
Please note that our calculations assume a flat horizon, which is at the same altitude as the observer. This means that the time and direction of moonrise/moonset differs if there are mountains or other obstacles in the way.
The Moon is supposed to rise but I cannot see it. What's wrong?
Sometimes, the Moon is not visible even if it is above the horizon. This is the case, for example, during the New Moon and when the sky is not clear.
Our calculations also assume a flat horizon, which is at the same altitude as the observer. If the horizon in the direction of the moonrise is at a higher altitude than you, the Moon will rise a bit later than shown on our website.
Since the Moon rarely traverses the horizon at an angle of 90°, this delay will also affect the direction (azimuth) in which you see the moonrise and moonset. For example, if the Moon rises at an angle of 45° in relation to the horizon and there is a hill between you and the Moon, it will have moved a little to the side once it becomes visible for you above the hill.
Why can't I see the Moon as shown in the Moon phase simulation?
The Moon phase simulation does not take into account the actual visibility of the Moon from the selected location. The Moon may currently be below the horizon, or adverse weather conditions may prevent a Moon sighting.
Why are the Moon phase symbols the wrong way round?
The Moon phase symbols in the table under Moonrise, Moonset, and Phase Calendar for... are roughly based on the appearance of the Moon phases in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that they do not correctly represent the Moon phases in the Southern Hemisphere, where the illuminated portion of the lunar surface moves from left to right instead of right to left.
However, rather than showing what the phases actually look like in the selected city, they are static symbols designed to provide a simplified representation of each phase. The see a dynamic, real-time representation of the current Moon phase in the selected city, please see the Moon phase simulation near the top of the page instead.
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 are there two Moonrise columns?
To keep the chronological order of events. On some days, the Moon sets at an earlier time of day than it rises. When this happens, the Moonrise column, if we only had one, would show a later time than the Moonset column, which would be counter-intuitive with regards to the normal reading direction from left to right.
Why is no moonrise or moonset listed for a specific date?
On some days, the Moon does not rise or set. Because the Moon is constantly in motion, the time span from one moonrise or moonset to the next is a little longer than 24 hours. For example, if the Moon rises just before midnight on day 1, it may not rise again until just after midnight on day 3, meaning that day 2 does not have a moonrise.
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.
How do I use the NEW map location picker? (BETA)
To use our new map location picker, click on the search field and then on Open Map. To choose your location, click on the map and click Select. Clicking Cancel closes the window.
You can use the search field to find your location, and then refine it by clicking on the map to get closer to your desired location. Clicking the target icon will take you to the location you have customized in the settings.
Using the zoom:
- The plus and minus symbols on the map zoom it in and out.
- You can move the map around in the window by clicking and holding your mouse button. If you are on a mobile or tablet, you move the map by holding your finger down.
- Click the mouse button or tap your finger to drop a pin on your desired location. If you have the map zoomed out, it will snap to the nearest location. Zooming right in will give you the coordinates of the location.
We appreciate your feedback! The map location picker is a BETA service, so it is still under development. If you find anything wrong or have suggestions to improve it, please let us know.
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 city search lists several places with the same name. Which is the one I'm looking for?
When you type the location into the search field and it suggests several places by the same name, first have a look at the country flag and the description in parentheses to identify the city you are looking for. If it is still unclear, click on one of the locations and check the geographical position on the map or click on the Time/General tab and check the longitude/latitude information shown near the top of the page.
FAQ: General Info & Instructions
What is the definition of moonrise and moonset?
Both moonrise and moonset are defined as the moments when the upper edge of the Moon's disk touches the horizon.
How do I select a different month?
The table under Moonrise, Moonset, and Phase Calendar for... shows Moon data for a month at a time. To switch to a different month, use the drop-down menus above the table or the links below the table.
Where can I find info about the Moon's position (direction and altitude) at any point in time?
Click on a row in the table under Moonrise, Moonset, and Phase Calendar for... to see a graph showing how the Moon's position changes throughout the selected day. See “Graph showing Moon position at any point in time” above for more information.
Can I use ZIP or other postal codes to search for a city?
Yes, our city search engine supports ZIP and postal codes for the United States (5-digit ZIP codes only), Canada (first 3 letters/digits only), Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Norway.
Do you offer this information for any place on Earth?
Yes, you can look up any location by entering geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into the search field.
Please use one of the following formats:
- Degrees and minutes, e.g., 40.42N 73.59W
- Decimal format, e.g., 40.71 -73.98
How do I search by coordinates (latitude and longitude)?
You can look up any location on Earth by entering geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into the search field.
Please use one of the following formats:
- Degrees and minutes, e.g., 40.42N 73.59W
- Decimal format, e.g., 40.71 -73.98
Does the Moon Calculator take into account refraction?
Yes, all Moon times take into account the fact that the Earth's atmosphere refracts the incoming light from the Moon in such a way that the Moon is visible longer than it would be without an atmosphere.
The amount of refraction depends on atmospheric pressure and temperature. Our calculations use the standard atmospheric pressure of 101.325 pascals at a temperature of 15°C or 59°F. A higher atmospheric pressure or a lower temperature means more refraction. If that is the case, the moonrise occurs earlier and the moonset later. In most cases, however, refraction affects the rising and setting times by less than a minute. Near the North Pole and the South Pole, its impact may be a little larger because temperatures are low and the Moon traverses the horizon at a comparatively shallow angle.
Are the headings based on true north or magnetic north?
What does “Moon does not pass the meridian on this day” mean?
In the table under Moonrise, Moonset, and Phase Calendar for..., the three columns on the right refer to the moment the Moon passes the meridian, which is the longitude of the selected location. Since the Moon moves in the same direction as the Earth rotates on its axis, it takes a little more than 24 hours from one meridian passing to the next.
If the Moon passes the meridian just before midnight on day 1, it may not do so again until just after midnight on day 3. In that case, it does not pass the meridian on day 2, and the table shows Moon does not pass the meridian on this day for that day.
What does meridian mean?
A location's meridian is its longitude, a line that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole, crossing the selected location. The moment when the Moon, the Sun, or a planet crosses a location's meridian marks the instant when they reach the highest position in the sky, appearing either due south, due north, or directly overhead.
What do the arrows mean?
The arrows next to Moon Direction and in the table indicate the cardinal direction (azimuth) of the Moon. As on a standard map, an upward pointing arrow means north, right means east, down is south, and left is west.
What do altitude and heading mean?
You will find them explained here.
How accurate is your Sun & Moon information?
All of the information presented on our Sun and Moon pages is based on algorithms and data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) and NASA, which we have optimized to efficiently calculate accurate Sun and Moon times. The algorithms have been tested countless times and are monitored periodically to ensure continued accuracy.
However, some factors may influence the apparent movements of the Sun and the Moon that cannot be controlled. For example, while we consider refraction, the extent of its effect depends on atmospheric pressure and temperature. This means our times for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset may be off by a few seconds if the pressure or temperature greatly deviates from the average values on which we base our calculations (pressure: 101.325 pascals or 0.0147 pounds per square inch (psi), and temperature: 15°C or 59°F).
Please note that our calculations assume a flat horizon, which is at the same altitude as the observer. This means the time and direction of sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset may differ if there are mountains or other obstacles in the way.
How does your algorithm work? Can you help me program my own?
We are a small team with a very extensive website to manage, so, unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to share detailed information about our algorithms or provide programming help.
Where can I find more information about the site and its services?
The General FAQ Page answers your questions about timeanddate.com, our services, site-wide settings, customization options, advertising opportunities, and copyright policies.