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The Moon

 
What is the moon? - Click here!

 

Many people identify 8 different phases of the moon. Here they are with a picture of what it might look like:

New
Waxing Crescent
1st Qtr
Waxing Gibbous
Full
Waning Gibbous
Last Qtr
Waning Crescent

It takes the moon about 29 1/2 days to make one complete cycle.

The phase of the moon is determined by the relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun, so it is the same for everyone on Earth.

The full moon rises at about Sunset. Each night, it comes up about 48 minutes later. The new moon is

harder to see but it rises around the same time as the Sun.

Because of the geometry of the way the light from the sun falls on the moon and is Observed by us here on earth, the full Moon and New moon seem to last longer than the other phases. But, in fact, the moon is at any particular phase for just an instant, like 12:00 noon, it happens and then it is past. This optical illusion probably contributes to many myths about things being more likely to happen when the Moon is full.

The tug of the Moon and Sun can affect the oceans, giving us the tides.

(This information and table come from: http://timbeauchamp.tripod.com/moon/mooninfo.htm)

Moon Links

The Earth's Moon - A great site with explanations, pictures and links about the moon.

Virtual Moon Phases - Click here and find the date you want. You can view pictures of the phase of the moon for that date.

Full Moon - Names and Dates of the Full Moons in 2002 and 2003.

Phases of the Moon - A good description and pictures of the moon phases.

Pictures of the Moon - Click on these to see the moon's surface.

Earth and Moon Viewer - You can view a map of the Earth, or images of the earth and moon. Cool!

Man on the Moon - Remembering the first steps on the Moon.

Lunar Exploration - Descriptions of all the Lunar missions, including pictures.

Ask a Space Scientist - Questions answered about the moon phases.