What are The Major Phases of The Moon?

tive, the sun is not shining on the moon. That is why it is so difficult to see a new moon. A new moon occurs when the sun is on the opposite side of the moon. And this is the first of the moon’s eight major phases.

Waxing Crescent Moon

Because the moon orbits the Earth, it moves eastward after a few days. We can now see the moon from a slight angle, with only a portion of it illuminated. The crescent is still very thin at this point. A waxing crescent moon, like a new moon, is still close to the moon but has moved slightly to the east.

First Quarter Moon (Half Moon)

When you can see half of the moon’s dark and light sides, it means the moon is half full. The moon is orbiting the Earth, and the waxing crescent moon is transforming into a first-quarter moon. The moon is farther away from the sun and easier to see during a first-quarter moon. This is the first time the moon’s day-night line has been partially illuminated. However, it is referred to as a first-quarter moon because it is 1/4 of the way through its cycle back to the new moon.

Waxing Gibbous Moon

It becomes a waxing gibbous moon as it grows larger. And gibbous simply means convex, implying that it is greater than half a circle but less than a full circle. We are very close to the moon is fully illuminated by the sun at this stage. The moon approaches a full moon as it orbits the Earth more closely.

Full Moon

From Earth’s perspective, a full moon is completely illuminated. When the moon is on the other side of the Earth, the sun shines brightly. At this point, the moon has rotated 180 degrees halfway through its orbit. When the Earth is between the sun and the moon during a full moon, the werewolves begin to transform.

Waning Gibbous Moon

At this point, the moon’s orbit has shifted past 180 degrees, transforming it into a waning gibbous moon. And we’ll go through the first four phases of the moon. Instead, it will be done in reverse order this time. The waning gibbous moon indicates that its illuminated side is beginning to shrink in comparison to a full moon. Waning indicates that the moon appears to shrink in size as the sun illuminates a smaller portion of its visible surface.

Last Quarter Moon (Half Moon)

As the last quarter moon approaches, the moon appears to split in half once more. The moon has completed 3/4 of its cycle at this point. However, the sun’s position has been reversed. And instead of the moon gradually becoming fuller, we begin to see less of it. It appears to be contracting as it approaches a new moon.

Waning Crescent Moon

A waning crescent moon appears a few days later. As the moon orbits past the 270° cycle, we see less and less of it. We return to the first phase once the moon has completed its full 360° orbit around the Earth. The new moon phase heralds the beginning of a new lunar cycle.

Why Does The Moon Have Phases?

The sun always illuminates half of the moon. This is the same as Earth because half of the Earth is illuminated during the day and a half is dark at night. However, we see the moon’s eight major phases because of our perspective and location on Earth. Because the moon is in full sunlight, it appears bright from Earth.

Because the moon is a sphere that orbits the Earth, we see it in different ways depending on the season. The phase of the moon in the diagram is determined by the position of the moon and the amount of sunlight shining from the right side. Overall, the day-night line visible from Earth represents the moon’s eight phases. And the moon’s phases are determined by how much the moon is illuminated by the sun.

Moon Phases

About The Lunar Phase

The lunar phase or Moon phase, as seen from Earth, in the shape of the Moon’s directly sunlit portion, which can be expressed quantitatively using areas or angles or qualitatively using the terminology of the new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter, and waning crescent. The lunar phases change gradually over a synodic month as the Moon’s orbital positions around Earth and the Earth’s orbital positions around the Sun shift. Depending on where the Moon is in its orbit, the visible side of the moon receives varying amounts of sunlight. As a result, the sunlit portion of this face can range from 0% to 100%. Each of the four intermediate lunars lasts about 7.4 days, with a variation of +/- 19 hours due to the Moon’s elliptical orbit.

Waxing and Waning

The Moon is new when the Sun and Moon are aligned on the same side of the Earth, and the side of the Moon facing the Earth is not illuminated by the Sun. The lunar phases advance through the new moon, crescent moon, first-quarter moon, gibbous moon, and full moon as the Moon waxes. The Moon is said to wane as it moves through the gibbous moon, third-quarter moon, crescent moon, and new moon phases. The terms old moon and new moon are not synonymous. The old moon is a waning sliver until it aligns with the Sun and begins to wax, at which point its rebirths. The terms half-moon and third-quarter moon are frequently used interchangeably, whereas the term quarter refers to the length of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, not its shape.

When an illuminated hemisphere is viewed from a certain angle, the visible portion has a two-dimensional shape defined by the intersection of an ellipse and a circle. If the half-ellipse is convex about the half-circle, the shape is gibbous; if the half-ellipse is concave about the half-circle, the shape is crescent. When there is a crescent moon, the phenomenon of earthshine may be visible, in which the Moon’s night side dimly reflects indirect sunlight reflected from Earth.