Why Can’t We See Stars During Day Time?

why we can t see stars during day time

From being our favorite childhood song to folklore and fantasizing a romantic night, twinkling stars have always been an integral part of the universe and our lives. But why we can’t see stars during the day? 

A straight answer to this question is that the light-scattering qualities of our atmosphere disperse sunlight throughout the sky, so stars aren’t visible during the daytime. In the blanket of photons from our Sun, detecting a single snowflake in a blizzard becomes as difficult as spotting a weak light from a faraway star.

Can Air and Light Pollution Affect Visibility of Stars During Daylight?

The strong city lights that diffuse into the sky and the haze in the atmosphere camouflage the dim stars, making them invisible.

On a new moon night, attempt to go to the countryside. The presence of street lights in the central portion of a city causes vehicle headlights to emit light in unneeded directions. The term “unnecessary direction” refers to when light is directed straight towards the sky rather than where it should be.

Do Stars Shine During the Day?

Yes, stars do shine during the day, but we can’t see them due to the sun’s glare. When the sun rises, the blue color of the sky is distributed throughout the atmosphere, giving it the characteristic vivid blue hue. Because this blue light is far more potent than the weak light from the stars, we cannot see them.

tree and stars

Where Do the Stars Go During the Day?

They’re still there, but the considerably brighter sunlight diffused by Earth’s atmosphere has overwhelmed them. You can see dazzling stars and planets in broad daylight if you know exactly where to position your telescope.

During the day, the Sun’s beams outnumber the weak light emitted by the other stars. When the Sun sets on the other side of the Earth at night, the stars that have always been visible in the sky become visible.

The stars wander across the sky, but the sun’s brightness obscures them. The stars, of course, do not move about the Earth’s position in space.

How Can You See Stars During the Daytime?

You can see the stars during the daytime from the bottom of lofty chimneys, mine shafts, coal pits, and cisterns by luminaries ranging from Sir John Herschel to Aristotle throughout history. 

In folklore, humans have been reported to see celestial pinpricks of beams reflected from the bottom of wells and dark pools. The ability to see stars in these environments was likely due to the narrower viewing angle of the mineshaft or the contrast offered by the gloomy climate.

The point to be noted here is that even the prominent figures relied upon second-hand reports but trials were never conducted. 

They could have discovered what German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and his students learned while testing the idea on a 230-foot chimney with a 16-foot hole if they did. In particular, they were looking for one celestial object, Vega, the fifth brightest star in the night sky, to almost pass overhead to increase their chances of success. Even with binoculars, they couldn’t see anything.

A.G. Smith also established that the color of the sky and the luminance inside the chimney were exactly like it seems from the outside after measuring with a photometric densitometer and photometer. It measures the transmittance of light and brightness. 

Per this second-hand knowledge, viewing the stars from any long tube or bottom of the well is not similar to seeing them from your garden. 

Sirius, the brightest star, would need to be five times brighter during the day for most people to see it (although at least one observer reported seeing Sirius with the naked eye, it was under ideal conditions, an hour before sunset, according to the first locating the Sterns with binoculars).

What Can Be Used to Spot a Star in the Daytime?

During the day it’s difficult to get a glimpse of stars. The sun, our nearest star, is the easiest to see. However, it is difficult to look at it without the necessary shields and devices. To see any other stars during the day, you’d have to use a telescope.

The only trouble there is the glare of refracted sunlight can make it difficult to find them. Fortunately, some telescopes now include “go-to” technology that dramatically simplifies this process. Just type in the star you need to see, and the telescope will automatically zero in on that spot in the sky.

Can You Use See Stars During the Day From a Well?

Some people have claimed that if you hold a kitchen paper towel tube up to your eye from the bottom of a well, you can see stars during the day.

If you try this experiment, you might have varying results.

“If we were on the Moon’s surface, where there is no atmosphere, we could simply block out the Sun and the reflected glare from the ground and see the stars quite clearly,” says Ken Tapping, an astronomer at the NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics.

Our atmosphere tends to scatter sunlight on Earth, so the sky seems blue. This blue is so intense that seeing the stars through it is impossible. Yet on obvious days, in dark locations like the bottom of a well where reflected light from items on the ground isn’t reaching your eyes, you might be able to see a star or two.

Can You See Venus During the Day?

Venus is one of the most magnificent views in our sky. Aside from the sun and moon, Venus shines brighter than all other heavenly objects. Right now, the remarkable planet is so bright that if you know where to look, you might even see it during the day.

Venus does not produce any visible light. It gleams because it reflects light. Venus is high in the morning sky before daybreak, and if the sky is clear, you’ll have no trouble locating it any time this week. Step outside and look east. The brightest thing you’ll see will be Venus.

Because the Earth rotates, Venus and the sunrise. Both objects and the other planets in our solar system follow a similar course across the sky from east to west, which astronomers refer to as the ecliptic.

We are closer to the sun than Venus. As a result, from our perspective, it never strays far from the sun. The sun is always behind or in front of us. When Venus is off to one side of the sun, as it is now, it is termed the evening star or the morning star, depending on which side it is on.

Final Thoughts

Because the sun is so close to our planet, it emits light beams scattered by dust particles and other gasses when they approach our atmosphere. Because the stars are so far away from us, they’re not bright enough to be seen throughout the day.

There is no light scattering on the moon since it lacks an atmosphere. That is why, unless you gaze straight at the sun, you won’t be able to see the light it emits.

The moon can be seen in the daylight sky on certain days of the month, but never when it is at high heights near the sun. It, too, is obscured by the ambient diffused light. However, Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, and it may be seen in daylight with the right conditions.

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