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Waning gibbous moon on the morning of July 24, 2016, by Ruy Queiroz in São Paulo, Brazil.

Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous

Look for the waning gibbous moon to rise in the middle of the night. It might look strangely oblong.


What’s special about a full moon?

You know it when you see it, but what makes a full moon full?

Waxing gibbous moon about to set on the night of August 12-13. The golden color stems from the fact that - when we see a moon low in the sky - we're seeing it through a greater-than-usual amount of atmosphere. Photo by Peter Lowenstein.

Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous

You might notice a waxing gibbous moon in the afternoon in the next few days. It’ll be ascending in the east as the sun is descending in the west.


First quarter moon was August 10

A first quarter moon rises at noon and is high overhead at sunset. It sets around midnight.


Where’s the moon? Waxing crescent

The moon reaches first quarter on August 10. That means there will be some moon-free hours before dawn for the Perseid meteor peak, morning of August 12.

A new moon is more or less between the Earth and sun.  Its lighted half is turned entirely away from us. Image via memrise.com.

New moon is August 2

You likely won’t see the moon today. The August 2, 2016 new moon – like all new moons – rises and sets with the sun.

Moon on the morning of July 28, 2016, the morning of its occultation of the star Aldebaran (shown at left). Photo by Lunar 101-MoonBook.

Where’s the moon? Waning crescent

A waning crescent moon is sometimes called an old moon. It’s seen in the east before dawn.

The moon was almost exactly at last quarter when Jenney Disimon in Sabah, North Borneo captured this photo on July 27, 2016 (5:30 a.m. local time, or July 26 at 21:30 UTC).

Last quarter moon was July 26

Fun time to see a last quarter moon: just after it rises, shortly after midnight. Then the lighted portion points downward, to the sun below your feet.

Nearly first quarter moon on the evening of June 11, 2016. The moon reached the first quarter phase on June 12, 2016 at 0810 UTC, or 3:10 a.m. CDT.  Translate to your timezone.

Quarter moon or a half moon?

Half the moon always faces us. And half the moon is always lit by the sun. But, in the language of astronomers, there are no ‘half moons.’

Full moon over Dallas via Ben Zavala.

Four keys to understanding moon phases

Why does the moon seem to change its shape every night? Remember that the moon is a world in space with a day side and a night side.

As the Moon orbits Earth, its changing geometry with respect to the Sun produces the characteristic phases. This composite image is a mosaic made from 25 individual photos of the Moon and illustrates its phases over one synodic month. For complete details about this image, see Moon Phases Mosaic. The individual images included in this composite can be found in the Moon Phases Gallery. For more composites, see Moon Phases Mosaics. Photo copyright 2012 by Fred Espenak.

Moon in 2016

Pretty much everything you want to know about the moon in 2016 – including phases, cycles, eclipses and supermoons – from world-renowned astronomer Fred Espenak.

Photo credit: Robbo-Man

What is earthshine?

That glow over the unlit part of a crescent moon – called earthshine – is light reflected from Earth.

New record for youngest moon via Thierry Legault

What’s the youngest moon you can see?

On this date a year ago, an astrophotographer in France captured an amazing photo of the moon at the precise instant of new moon.