Love the sunset? Watch the Moon rise, too.


Wanna impress your sweetheart? Do you love to watch the sunset? This weekend you can add a bonus to that favorite activity on a warm spring weekend night.

Full Moon is on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 12:12 pm, MDT. Full moon occurs when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.

Because of the positions of the three, the full moon rises about the same time as the sun sets. Sunset on June 7th is 8:57 pm, MDT. Moonrise on the 7th is 9:26 pm, MDT. Your position relative to the west and east horizons, and the presence of mountains or hills, will affect the actual time you lose the sun and when you’ll begin seeing the moon. So it’s a good idea to try this a day or two before the actual full moon date.

Once you’ve enjoyed waching the sunset from your favorite hill top, roof top or park bench, turn around and watch a beautiful full moon rise. Sunset is to the northwest right now, and moonrise will be to the southeast.

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9 thoughts on “Love the sunset? Watch the Moon rise, too.

  1. You know I have been wondering about when these alignments occur for some time. I am interested in finding out if there is a table that shows when sunrise and moonsets or sunsets and moonrises coincide but haven’t been able to find a website that calculates those sort of things. Does Clark happen to have this data? (doubly interested in when moon phase is full)


  2. Thanks for your question, Scott. Let me answer it in two different ways:
    1) Yes, there are tables all over the internet for sunrise/sunset & moon rise/set times. Personally, I like the US Naval Observatory’s Astronomical Applications site. You can input your city and state and get this information very easily (
    2) Note in my blogpost that the physical configuration of the Sun, Earth and Moon is what determines Full Moon. By default of this physical arrangement, the Full Moon will rise as the Sun sets. Timing may not be precise because of your location and your horizon, which is why I suggest doing this a day or even two before the night of the Full Moon. Full Moon dates are usually a part of any calendar, and sunrise/sunset times are usually noted in your local tv weather report.

    Happy observing,

  3. Hi Richard,

    I want to watch the sunset and moonrise, I tried the Strawberry Moon last year but I went to a hill in Charlton MA and had a beautiful sunset the horizon for the moon rise(I did not now in adavance where it would come up) was blocked by trees. I want to try again but do not know exactly how, where, or when to watch, for the two different locations I would like to now about.

    I was so happy to find this blog while searching for instructions on how to see
    the next sunset/moonrise June 26 (or 24th or 25th), would you mind sending me some pointers. I live in Worcester MA and I want to send my friend on a mystery trip to see this same sunset/moonrise in State college PA. As much detail as possible – I am hoping and hoping for a clear night.

    I saw it once by chance, from Pike’s Peak, I went for sunset only, and I overheard a little girl saying “Let’s go Daddy, the sunset is over.” And Daddy said “No – sweetheart – we have to wait and watch the sky there is more….”
    I was thinking ‘more….more what????’ So I had to wait too and I could not believe the beauty in that moonrise….WOWEEEE. The little girl loved it too, So Daddy did impress his sweetheart!!!!

    Thanks In Advance

  4. For June, 2010, the Full Moon occurs at 7:30 am, EDT, on Saturday the 26th. Watching the sunset, followed by the moon rise, really depends on the local horizon. For a flat horizon (like a high mountain peak), the actual day of Full Moon works. But if there are hills or mountains involved, I’d suggest the night before the Full Moon, so that there is little waiting time between sunset and moonrise. Moonrise occurs about 40 minutes later each night.

    So, I would target Friday night for viewing the moon rise after the sunset. On Friday the 25th, sunset for State College, PA is at 8:47 pm, EDT; and moon rise is at 8:25 pm, EDT (20 minutes before sunset). Waiting until the 26th, the moon rise time is about 40 minutes later, or about 20 minutes after sunset.

  5. Is there a specific name for this happening? I personally witnessed this on a hill driving into Omaha eleven years ago while my first grandchild was being born. She is known as our sumoon baby.

  6. I don’t believe there is a name for this. It happens basically every full moon, so about once a month. A nice flat horizon makes it ideal to watch on the night of the full moon. Here is Salt Lake, where we have mountains on both sides of the valley, I prefer to plan for the day before the full moon. The moon still looks full, but the moon rising over the eastern peaks better coincides with the sun setting behind the western peaks.

    Interestingly enough, I have noticed in the last week or so a beer advertisement on tv based on this interesting, if not romantic, event.

  7. What is the name of the simultaneous full moon rise at the same time of a sunset? Is it called and equilux or equinox,…?

  8. As far as I am aware, there is no nickname given to this alignment. My guess is it is simply to common and coincides with cyclical full moon date. Also, note that your vantage point relative to the east and west horizon will greatly affect the timing of visual sunset and visual moon rise.

  9. I saw the sun set and moon rise on 12Jun11 I was on a beach in Ocho Rios it was such a beautiful thing I have video if any one wants to see.

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