Help me understand the phases of the moon. Why is it that a New Moon is visible at all?
Ok, I have what can only be a sort of dumb question about the phases of the moon, that I'm sure everyone else figured out the answer to sometime around the fourth grade. Basically, I think I've never quite understood how the phases of the moon work--I particularly don't get how it's possible for there to be a "New Moon" in the sky, given the way I understand the phases of the moon to work.
The problem is this: Take a look at any typical diagram of the earth, the moon, and the moon's phases. Here's an example.
According to such diagrams, the moon is "New" when it's between the earth and the sun. However, when it in this position, it should not be observable by those on the nighttime side of earth, facing away from the sun.
It seems like those on the night side of earth would need to look through the earth to see the moon in it's "new" phase, even if the moon is orbiting on a pretty steep angle.
So...help me here? Have I managed to discredit the Copernican model of the solar system and proved I'm living in a projected Matrix-type world? Or, is there something something a little off in the way I'm thinking about the moon and its orbit? Open to both possibilities. Thanks for any insight.