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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.
Look for the waning gibbous moon late at night. It might look strangely oblong. Or look for it in the west in early morning, floating against the pale blue sky.
You know it when you see it, but what makes a full moon full?
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.
A first quarter moon rises at noon and is high overhead at sunset. It sets around midnight.
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.’
When you see the moon as a slim crescent in the west after sunset, it’s always waxing. Is that Earth’s shadow on the moon? No, it’s the moon’s own shadow.
On the day of new moon, the moon rises when the sun rises. It sets when the sun sets. It crosses the sky with the sun during the day.
A waning crescent moon is sometimes called an old moon. It’s seen in the east before dawn.
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.
Pretty much everything you want to know about the moon in 2016 – including phases, cycles, eclipses and supermoons – from world-renowned astronomer Fred Espenak.
That glow over the unlit part of a crescent moon – called earthshine – is light reflected from Earth.
On this date a year ago, an astrophotographer in France captured an amazing photo of the moon at the precise instant of new moon.
Juno on Jupiter’s doorstep