Why has "the" been used before the word "sunlight" in the following sentence?

The phase of the Moon we see depends on from which direction the sunlight is hitting it, and the angle we see that from Earth.

The speaker had not talked about which sunlight, and I am aware that "sunlight" is an uncountable noun, so I am confused why "the" has been put.


The definite article makes it specific. It's not difficult to understand from context the writer means "the sunlight hitting the moon."

Since there is only really one source of sunlight, and (as you say) it's an uncountable noun, it would have been fine to omit the article.

Other examples:

The system works by filtration: the water (specific water from some undefined source) is funneled through a series of screens to remove all particulates.

At the unloading terminal, where trains arrive all hours of the day and night, the cargo (from the trains) is transferred to trucks for local delivery.

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