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Encyclopedia > Lunar phase

moon phase (or lunar phase) refers to the appearance of the illuminated portion of the Moon as seen by an observer, usually on Earth. The lunar phases vary cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. One half of the lunar surface is always illuminated by the Sun (except during lunar eclipses), and is hence bright, but the portion of the illuminated hemisphere that is visible to an observer can vary from 100% (full moon) to 0% (new moon). The boundary between the illuminated and unilluminated hemispheres is called the terminator. Tsukuyomi -Moon Phase-, known simply as Tsukuyomi ) in Japan, is a manga series by Keitarō Arima about a young vampire girl named Hazuki and a Japanese freelance photographer Kohei Morioka whom Hazuki attempts to make into her servant. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... Sol redirects here. ... Sol redirects here. ... Time lapse movie of the 3 March 2007 lunar eclipse A lunar eclipse occurs whenever the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow. ... For other uses, see Full Moon. ... The lunar phase depends on the Moons position in orbit around Earth. ... World map with terminator (April) A composite image showing the terminator dividing night from day, running across Europe and Africa. ...

Contents

Overview

The lunar phase depends on the Moon's position in orbit around the Earth, and the Earth's position in orbit around the sun. This diagram looks down on Earth from the north. Earth's rotation and the Moon's orbit are both counter-clockwise here. Sunlight is coming in from the right, as indicated by the yellow arrows. From this diagram, we can see, for example, that the full moon will always rise at sunset, and that the waning crescent moon is high overhead around 9:00 AM local time.

Lunar phases are the result of seeing the illuminated half of the Moon from different viewing geometries: they are not caused by shadows of the Earth on the Moon that occur during a lunar eclipse. The Moon exhibits different phases as the relative geometry of the Sun, Earth, and Moon change, appearing as a full moon when the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth, and as a new moon (also named dark moon, as it is not visible at night) when they are on the same side. The phases of full moon and new moon are examples of syzygies, which occur when the Earth, Moon, and Sun lie (approximately) in a straight line. The time between two full moons (or between successive occurrences of the same phase) is about 29.53 days (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes) on average. This synodic month is longer than the time it takes the Moon to make one orbit about the Earth with respect to the fixed stars (the sidereal month), which is about 27.32 days. This difference is caused by the fact that the Earth-Moon system is orbiting about the Sun at the same time the Moon is orbiting about the Earth. The actual time between two syzygies is variable because the orbit of the Moon is elliptic and subject to various periodic perturbations, which change the velocity of the Moon. Diagram of lunar phases, created by Minesweeper and donated to Wikipedia. ... Diagram of lunar phases, created by Minesweeper and donated to Wikipedia. ... Time lapse movie of the 3 March 2007 lunar eclipse A lunar eclipse occurs whenever the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow. ... For other uses, see Full Moon. ... The lunar phase depends on the Moons position in orbit around Earth. ... Dark moon is the period when the Moon appears so close to the Sun in the sky that it cannot be seen even near sunset or sunrise. ... Look up Syzygy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In Egyptian mythology, Month is an alternate spelling for Menthu. ... The orbital period is the time it takes a planet (or another object) to make one full orbit. ... In Egyptian mythology, Month is an alternate spelling for Menthu. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ...


It might be expected that once every month when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun during a new moon, its shadow would fall on Earth causing a solar eclipse. Likewise, during every full moon, we might expect the Earth's shadow to fall on the Moon, causing a lunar eclipse. We do not observe a solar and lunar eclipse every month because the plane of the Moon's orbit around the Earth is tilted by about 5 degrees with respect to the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun. Thus, when new and full moons occur, the Moon usually lies to the north or south of a direct line through the Earth and Sun. Although an eclipse can only occur when the Moon is either new or full, it must also be positioned very near the intersection of Earth's orbit plane about the Sun and the Moon's orbit plane about the Earth (that is, at one of its nodes). This happens about twice per year, and so there are between 4 and 7 eclipses in a calendar year. Most of these are quite insignificant; major eclipses of the Moon or Sun are relatively rare.
Photo taken during the 1999 eclipse. ... Time lapse movie of the 3 March 2007 lunar eclipse A lunar eclipse occurs whenever the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow. ... This article is about astronomical eclipses. ... The lunar nodes are the orbital nodes of the Moon, that is, the points where the orbit of the Moon crosses the ecliptic (which is the apparent path of the Sun across the heavens against the background stars). ... This article is about astronomical eclipses. ...


Names of lunar phases

Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere.
Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

The phases of the Moon have been given the following names, which are listed in sequential order: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1350x409, 254 KB) Summary Diagram illustrating various phases of the Moon in their order of appearance stating from the New Moon and progressing through Crescent, First Quarter, and Gibbous to reach the Full Moon. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1350x409, 254 KB) Summary Diagram illustrating various phases of the Moon in their order of appearance stating from the New Moon and progressing through Crescent, First Quarter, and Gibbous to reach the Full Moon. ... This article is about Earths moon. ...

Phase Northern Hemisphere Southern Hemisphere
Dark Moon Not visible Not visible
New Moon Not visible, or traditionally, the first visible crescent of the Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon Right 1-49% visible Left 1-49% visible
First Quarter Moon Right 50% visible Left 50% visible
Waxing gibbous Moon Right 51-99% visible Left 51-99% visible
Full Moon Fully visible Fully visible
Waning gibbous Moon Left 51-99% visible Right 51-99% visible
Third Quarter Moon Left 50% visible Right 50% visible
Waning Crescent Moon Left 1-49% visible Right 1-49% visible
Gibbous (red) and crescent (blue) shapes.
Gibbous (red) and crescent (blue) shapes.

When the Sun and Moon are aligned on the same side of the Earth, the Moon is "new", and the side of the Moon visible from Earth is not illuminated by the Sun. As the Moon waxes (the amount of illuminated surface as seen from Earth is increasing), the lunar phases progress from new moon, crescent moon, first-quarter moon, gibbous moon and full moon phases, before returning through the gibbous moon, third-quarter moon, crescent moon and new moon phases. The terms old moon and new moon are interchangeable, although new moon is more common. Half moon is often used to mean the first- and third-quarter moons. Northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. ... southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Image File history File links Gibbous-Crescent-half-ellipse-in-circle. ... Image File history File links Gibbous-Crescent-half-ellipse-in-circle. ...

Animation of the Moon as it cycles through its phases, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The apparent wobbling of the Moon is known as libration.

When a sphere is illuminated on one hemisphere and viewed from a different angle, the portion of the illuminated area that is visible will have a two-dimensional shape defined by the intersection of an ellipse and circle (where the major axis of the ellipse coincides with a diameter of the circle). If the half-ellipse is convex with respect to the half-circle, then the shape will be gibbous (bulging outwards), whereas if the half-ellipse is concave with respect to the half-circle, then the shape will be a crescent. Image File history File links Lunar_libration_with_phase2. ... Image File history File links Lunar_libration_with_phase2. ... Not to be confused with Liberation. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

A waxing crescent Moon.
A waxing crescent Moon.

In the northern hemisphere, if the left side of the Moon is dark then the light part is growing, and the Moon is referred to as waxing (moving towards a full moon). If the right side of the Moon is dark then the light part is shrinking, and the Moon is referred to as waning (moving towards a new moon). Assuming that one is in the northern hemisphere, the right portion of the Moon is the part that is always growing. The acronym mnemonic "DOC" represents this: "D" is the waxing moon; "O" the full moon; and "C" the waning moon. (One phrase that can be used to remember this is "Dog comes; Cat goes".) In the Southern hemisphere, this order is reversed, and the mnemonic is "COD". Near the Equator both waxing and waning moon look like a bottom-up crescent[1]. This article is about Earths moon. ... Northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. ... southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ...


Calendar

Main article: Lunar calendar

The average calendrical month, which is 1/12 of a year, is about 30.4 days, while the Moon's phase (synodic) cycle repeats every 29.53 days. Therefore the timing of the Moon's phases shifts by an average of about one day for each successive month. If you photographed the Moon's phase every day for a month, starting in the evening after sunset, and repeating approximately 25 minutes later each successive day, ending in the morning before sunrise, you could create a composite image like the example calendar below from May 8, 2005 to June 6, 2005. Note that there is no picture on May 20 since a picture would be taken before midnight on May 19, and after midnight on May 21. For a similar reason, if you look at a calendar listing moon rise or set times, there will be days where the moon neither rises nor sets. A lunar calendar is a calendar that is based on cycles of the moon phase. ...


See also

For other uses, see Full Moon. ... Look up Month in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The lunar phase depends on the Moons position in orbit around Earth. ... The orbit of the Moon around the Earth is completed in approximately 27. ... Saturns moon Iapetus lit by Saturnshine. ... The lunar phase at present (21 October 2006) is in the 1st quarter, illuminated by ca. ... The term blue moon has at least four related meanings. ...

External links

Educational aids

This article is about Earths moon. ... Schematic illustration of the internal structure of the Moon. ... Topography of the Moon, referenced to the lunar geoid. ... Total magnetic field strength at the surface of the Moon as derived from the Lunar Prospector electron reflectometer experiment. ... The atmosphere of the Moon is very tenuous and insignificant in comparison to that of the Earth. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 594 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1411 × 1424 pixel, file size: 903 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... The orbit of the Moon around the Earth is completed in approximately 27. ... Photo taken during the 1999 eclipse. ... Time lapse movie of the 3 March 2007 lunar eclipse A lunar eclipse occurs whenever the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow. ... This article is about tides in the Earths oceans. ... Selenography is the study of the surface and physical features of the Moon, especially the mapping of the features according to the Moons latitude and longitude. ... The near side of the Moon is the lunar hemisphere that is permanently turned towards the Earth, and as such the side which is always seen. ... Far side of the Moon. ... Lunar nearside with major maria and craters labeled A global albedo map of the Moon obtained from the Clementine missionThe dark regions are the lunar maria, whereas the lighter regions are the highlands. ... Tycho crater on Earths moon. ... The South Pole-Aitken basin is an impact crater on Earths Moon. ... Shackleton is a lunar crater that lies at the south pole of the Moon. ... The continuous bombardment of the Moon by comets and meteoroids have added some amount of water to the lunar surface. ... Peak of Eternal Light (PEL) describes a point on a body within the solar system which is eternally bathed in sunlight. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... This map, based on a survey of 300 TLPs by Barbara Middlehurst and Patrick Moore, shows the approximate distribution of observed events. ... Exploring Shorty crater during the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon. ... The lunar geologic timescale (or perhaps more properly the selenologic timescale) divides the history of Earths Moon into six generally recognized geologic periods: Copernician Period : 1100 MY to present Eratosthenian Period : 3200 MY to 1100 MY Upper Imbrian Epoch : 3800 MY to 3200 MY Lower Imbrian Epoch : 3850 MY... The Big Splash redirects here. ... Lunar Ferroan Anorthosite #60025 (Plagioclase Feldspar). ... Lunar Meteorite Allan Hills 81005 A Lunar meteorite is a meteorite that is known to have originated on the Moon. ... KREEP stands for potassium (atomic symbol K), rare earth elements (REE), and phosphorus (P). ... The Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package, or ALSEP, was a set of connected scientific instruments left on the Moon when the Apollo program ended. ... The Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment from the Apollo 11 mission The ongoing Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment measures the distance between the Earth and the Moon using laser ranging. ... The Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) was a period approximately 3. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America (NASA) using the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle, conducted during the years 1961 – 1975. ... Pioneer 0 (USA, 1958) - failure - orbiter Pioneer 1 (USA, 1958) - failure - orbiter Pioneer 3 (USA, 1958) - failure - flyby Luna 1 (Soviet Union, 1959) - success - flyby Pioneer 4 (USA, 1959) - partial success - flyby Luna 2 (Soviet Union, 1959) - success - impactor Luna 3 (Soviet Union, 1959) - success - flyby Ranger 3 (USA, 1962... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Exploration of the Moon. ... Lunar outpost redirects here. ... Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong in NASAs training mockup of the Moon and lander module. ... For other uses, see Calendar (disambiguation) A page from the Hindu calendar 1871–1872. ... Look up Month in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the Moon as the subject of and inspiration for creative works. ... The Moon has figured in many mythologies, often paired or contrasted with the Sun (see also Solar deity). ... The Moon illusion is an optical illusion in which the Moon appears larger near the horizon than it does while higher up in the sky. ... The lunar effect is the supposed influence of the moon, and its various phases, on human behaviour. ... This article is about the Solar System. ... A natural satellite is an object that orbits a planet or other body larger than itself and which is not man-made. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Moon Phases :: Calendars (941 words)
Anyone with an interest in the moon or the phases of the moon -- for whatever reason -- should find some valuable information here, including a free current / daily moon phases website module, how to get a moon phases calendar software application, and other lunar phases information, including links.
Most other moon phases calendar applications are either unwieldy, ugly, complicated, or inconvenient because you have to access a website to use it.
The phases of the moon are caused by the relative positions of the earth, sun, and moon.
Moon Phase Software: Astrology, Astronomy, Moon Calendars, Moon Clocks, Lunar Phases, Lunar Cycle (576 words)
Lunar Phase Lite - LunarPhase Lite is a simple application that provides basic information about the Moon and Sun and is of use to photographers, fishermen, gardeners, military, amateur astronomers and others.
Lunar Phase Pro - is a moon observer's software toolkit designed to help you learn about the Moon and make your lunar observing sessions more productive.
Moon Phase Calculator - Moon Phase Calculator is simple and easy to use tool that allows you to calculate the phase of the Moon for any time in the past or future and to search for the next or previous full moon, new moon and first or last quarter.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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