Why is the moon white?

Because your eyes aren’t that great at brightness.

As many people have mentioned, the Moon is actually quite dark grey:

However, it sure looks white to me. So what gives?

OK, look at this picture. Which square is darker, A or B? They’re the same color! Don’t believe me:

It turns out we determine brightness in a very relative way. Square A looks dark because it’s surrounded by lightness. Square B looks light because it’s surrounded by darkness.

Sound familiar?

The moon is quite dark, but it’s significantly brighter than the night sky. As a result, your brain assumes it’s actually quite bright, when really it’s not.

You can really see this during a lunar eclipse:

See how white the right side looks? See how dark (and red…that’s from the Earth’s atmosphere…you can ignore that) the left side looks?

Relative illumination makes a huge difference in our perception of color and brightness.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Do you see the Moon as a white or grey body? Tell us in the comments below!

#Science #Nature #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Ken Lloyd
I was always told that the reflection of the sun made it look white that's why when we get an eclipse the shadow of the earth makes it dark
Oct 12, 2021 11:49PM
Nice to learn all this things and hard to believe without a proof. Thanks.
Apr 1, 2020 8:05PM
Marianne Frederick Halterman
Usually white, if there is a dark sky. Grey if it's early evening or early morning and there is a blue sky.
Dec 4, 2019 7:52PM
I learnt something today. Now I understand why the moon appears white.
Aug 11, 2019 1:36PM
Denise Lane
David Eubanks, the sun IS A STAR!
Jul 12, 2019 6:56PM
Duncan McConnachie, Good suggestion. Perception is not always reality, eh ?
Jun 26, 2019 4:29AM
Shadow(s), light spectrum, all have effects .
Jun 26, 2019 4:28AM
David Eubanks
The facts are leaving out one key component, LIGHT! In the dark, all things are dark, only in the light (the sun in the case of the moon) can you see it. The brighter the sun's rays reflect off the moon the brighter it looks. The stars are not suns, they are reflected LIGHT off planets, asteroids, ect.
Jun 22, 2019 2:38PM
Anne James
Grey definitely. 🌚
May 28, 2019 5:49PM
karen twirly
I still don't see square B the same shade as square A. Even the link didn't do it for me.
Apr 25, 2019 9:37PM
robert karel
It’s all Greek to me!
Apr 8, 2019 3:57AM
Eileen Dunn
Thanks ,I’d not thought about it recently painted cottage ,looks a different colour when the sun shines on it.
Mar 21, 2019 5:35PM
Marian Gompper
I think it is because blue was already taken.
Mar 10, 2019 8:22PM
Sabina Alam
interesting indeed
Feb 26, 2019 12:37AM
Janice Lea Vanlandingham
Denis Brunell, color blindness is most commonly related to red/green issues. This discussion is with regard to shades of light and dark or grays. Only complete loss of the ability to discern shades comes from "I don't careitis"
Feb 8, 2019 6:37PM

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