(Paradigm credit: NASA Goddard)
The moon’s phases are 1 of the nearly familiar sights in the night sky. Every month, we meet our lone satellite wax and wane through a series of shapes, taking it from an unmissable full
down to a tiny sliver of a crescent, briefly disappearing from view entirely so returning to total once again.
This page was updated on Oct. 21, 2022
What is the moon phase today?
Tonight,October. 21, 2022, the moon is at thewaning gibbous
stage of its lunar cycle, and is15% illuminated. The moon is
26 days one-time
— meaning information technology is that many days into its roughly 30-day cycle.
The wheel at a glance:
-On Oct. 9 the about recent
rose. The October total moon is sometimes called the Hunter’s Moon.
-On Oct. 17, the moon enters its
phase where half the moon’s Earth-facing side appears illuminated as the moon wanes toward a New Moon.
-On Oct. 25, a
volition rise, with the moon’southward surface actualization completely dark. This is the start of the adjacent lunar bike.
-On Nov. one, the moon enters its
phase where one-half of the moon’south Earth-facing side appears illuminated equally the moon waxes toward full illumination.
will rising on November eight.
Moon phase calendar
|Appointment||Phase of the moon||Fourth dimension (ET)|
|October. 9||Full Moon||4:54 p.m.|
|Oct. 17||Third Quarter||ane:fifteen p.m.|
|Oct. 25||New Moon||6:48 a.thou.|
|Nov. one||First Quarter||two:37 a.grand.|
|Nov. viii||Full Moon||6:02 a.g.|
|Nov. 16||Third Quarter||8:27 a.m.|
|Nov. 23||New Moon||5:57 p.k.|
|Nov. 30||First Quarter||nine:36 a.thou.|
|Dec. 7||Full Moon||11:08 p.g.|
|Dec. 16||3rd Quarter||3:56 a.m.|
|Dec. 23||New Moon||5:16 a.m.|
|Dec. 29||Get-go Quarter||8:20 p.g.|
As the phases are the moon are caused by the moon’south orbit effectually Earth, they are entirely anticipated. In fact, it is possible to piece of work out the dates we’d see these phases for the next l million years. Here’s what it will look like tonight:
What are the moon’s phases?
We say the moon is “new” when in that location’s no light from the moon reaching World. Over time, we begin to see more of information technology and we say the moon is waxing.
Outset, nosotros see a
waxing crescent, then a then-called “beginning quarter moon.” It’s a slightly confusing name because it actually appears as a half-illuminated moon in the night sky. Merely if you remember about it, the moon can exist dissever into four quarters: two on the side of the moon facing united states and and then ii on the side that faces away from the Earth. During a first quarter moon, skywatchers see a quarter of the entire Moon illuminated.
Next comes a
moon — role fashion between a starting time quarter and a full moon. (Information technology comes from an quondam Middle English word for “hump” considering that’s the shape it resembles in the dark heaven.) After the moon is
we say that the moon begins to wane. So a
comes first, followed by a
and then a
It takes 29.five days to go through this cycle of phases once, according to the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
Why does the Moon take phases?
“The moon is only visible to us because information technology is reflecting the sun’s calorie-free,” said Dhara Patel, a space expert at the United Kingdom’s National Infinite Centre in Leicester. “Wherever the moon is in its orbit around the Globe, information technology is ever half lit upwardly by the dominicus.” Patel told Live Science. The aforementioned goes for the Earth – half of us experience daylight while the other half experience nighttime.
The same half of the moon ever faces the Earth, too. “The moon spins on its axis and orbits the Earth in the same amount of time – information technology’south called synchronous rotation,” Patel said. Sometimes the illuminated one-half of the moon coincides with the half facing Earth. In that case, we see a Full Moon. This happens when the moon is on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. Earth ordinarily doesn’t block the sunlight because the Moon’due south orbit is slightly tilted. When Earth does block the lite, nosotros encounter a lunar eclipse.
When the moon is between Earth and the sunday, sunlight is completely illuminating the one-half facing abroad from us and then nosotros see no calorie-free at all, or a New Moon. Again, the tilt of the moon’s orbit unremarkably prevents the moon from blocking our view of the sun. When it occasionally does we encounter a solar eclipse.
When sunlight is partially falling on our side and partially on the other we run across the intermediate phases such as crescent, quarter and gibbous moons,
according to Sky and Telescope
(opens in new tab).
What is the dark side of the Moon?
People often refer to the side of the moon that always points abroad from us every bit the “night side of the Moon,” maybe in part due to the Pink Floyd album of the aforementioned name. It may be a common phrase, simply, according to Patel, information technology’s not the right terminology to use. “The moon doesn’t have a dark side, it has a far side,” Patel said. That far side is just very rarely completely dark – during a Total Moon when our side is completely illuminated. At all other times, the far side is at to the lowest degree partly illuminated, she said.
What is a lunar or moon agenda?
“Throughout human history, a lot of different civilizations and cultures have used the moon to dictate their calendars,” Patel said. In the
Gregorian calendar, years are divided into into months, which comes from the word “moonths”. The average length of a agenda calendar month is very close to the 29.5 days it takes for the moon’s phases to wheel through.
The date of the Christian festival of Easter, for example, is calculated using the moon. Easter Lord’s day falls on the first Lord’s day after the full moon that occurs on or afterwards the
equinox. If the full Moon falls on a Sun, then Easter is the side by side Sunday.
The Jewish and Islamic calendars are too based on the moon.
And Chinese, Vietnamese, Hindu and Thai calendars are also withal based on the moon. “In some cultures, the full moon each month is given a particular name to help keep track of time and the seasons,” Patel said.
- Learn more than nearly the phases of the moon using this incredible interactive website from
(opens in new tab).
- Hear about the moon’s violent nascence and how the phases of the moon have shaped our lives in this video from
(opens in new tab).
- And for an extra-deep dive, find out everything yous ever wanted to know nearly Earth’s omnipresent satellite in the book “The Book of the Moon: A Guide to Our Closest Neighbour
(opens in new tab)” (Abrams Image, 2019).
Originally published on Live Scientific discipline