The moon reflects the sunlight that shines on it, that reflection is what creates “moonlight”. Specifically, it reflects 7% of the light that falls on it, which is what we see as moonlight.
Notice the moon is only illuminated from our viewpoint at certain points in its lunar orbit, depending on where it is in relation to the sun and Earth. When the moon is between the earth and sun, it is not visible in the night sky (as the illuminated surface projects towards the sun and away from us). When the earth is closer to the sun than the moon, we are able to see the moon’s reflection of sunlight at night.
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