# Does the moon have days?

As like Earth, does the moon have a day (24 hours). If it has, how many hours are in a moon day?.

• vsauce > How Earth Moves – Remi.b Sep 8 '16 at 16:33
• Solar day or Terran day? Synodic or Sidereal? – OrangeDog Sep 8 '16 at 17:18
• Lunar day (Wiki) – Mazura Sep 9 '16 at 2:38
• @OrangeDog: Probably you could have helped the OP (& me) understand different definitions with answers. Why confuse someone knowing that they don't know something (I believe you guessed that correctly on reading the question) that you know. Just a thought came first to my mind on reading your comment, cheers. – 0xc0de Sep 10 '16 at 6:19

Defining that a day is a rotation on the axis, 1 moon day is approximately equal to 27.3 Earth days. This link on moon rotation may interest you.

• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – called2voyage Sep 12 '16 at 13:24

If you define a day as we usually define it in the Earth (time between the Sun is at noon or average time between sunrises, a 24 hours day in Earth), the length of a day in the Moon is the synodic period of the Moon and it takes 29.530589 days (29 d 12 h 44 min 2.9 s).

Anyway, if you define a day as rotation on own axis, that is, time between a far away star being at noon, you have what in Earth is called sidereal day (23 hours, 56 minutes in Earth). In the moon the day defined this way would be 27.321661 days (27 d 7 h 43.19 min 11.5 s).

Please notice that since the Moon is tidally locked to the Earth, rotation periods equal orbital periods.

• Mine's more of a fast and simple answer as I am on phone and agree that this should be the accepted answer. Although not sure how my answer warrants a down vote. – CipherBot Sep 8 '16 at 12:11
• @CipherBot, Keep it Up.. – RANSARA009 Sep 8 '16 at 18:12
• You should probably express your lengths in hours instead of days to avoid ambiguity, since the definition of a "day" is part of the topic of your post. For example, is "27.321661 days" in 24-hour days, or in Earth sidereal days? – Jason C Sep 9 '16 at 16:20
• @JasonC I think it is clear that if someone uses day as a unit of measurement next to hours and minutes, it clearly means the earth 24-hours day. – kajacx Sep 10 '16 at 10:52

Another valid definition is the time between earthrises instead of sunrises, since the moon is in orbit around earth. In that case, there is no direct concept of a day, because the moon is tidally locked to earth.

• Well... there's always the new moon phase where it is dark. But I sort of see your point. – CipherBot Sep 8 '16 at 12:12
• @CipherBot If you're basing days on what's illuminated, then an eclipse would be night and a nearby supernova would be day, both of which kind of ruin any consistent length of a day. – 8bittree Sep 8 '16 at 14:54
• You can get days under this definition, due to the lunar libration cycle. – OrangeDog Sep 8 '16 at 17:20
• I can't see how this works. Basically all of the moon's surface has no earthrises or earthsets. – Dawood ibn Kareem Sep 11 '16 at 0:32
• I know. That's why I said "basically". My point is that "time between earthrises" doesn't give a workable definition of a "day on the moon". – Dawood ibn Kareem Sep 12 '16 at 9:47