MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nine-year-old Lexi from Forest Lake asks: Why can you see the moon during the day?

“My first reaction is, ‘Why not?'” University of Minnesota astrophysicist Terry Jones said. “It’s lit up by the sun and when it’s up in the sky, you can see it whether it’s day or night.”

The moon is visible for 12 hours a day on average. It is on the other side of earth the rest of the time. Its color is a shade of medium gray, so when you look at the daytime sky during that 12-hour period, you can see the sunlight reflecting off the moon.

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Deb from Anoka noticed the flags at her children’s school were at half-mast on Monday, so she wants to know: Who decides when flags are lowered?

The president or a state’s governor has that power. It is reserved for times when the nation or state is in mourning, or to honor public servants who have died, like on Memorial Day.

The federal government ordered the flags lowered Monday after the shooting at a college campus in Oregon. The state of Minnesota followed with an order from Gov. Dayton.

But Minnesota can lower state flags on its own, like it did on Sept. 8 in honor of St. Paul firefighter Shane Clifton.

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Connie from Menagha wants to know: Why does pepper make us sneeze?

Most particles that get into our nose, like dust, make us sneeze. But pepper has a chemical called piperine in it. Piperine gives pepper its spicy taste and is especially irritating to the nose.

Heather Brown

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