A waning crescent moon is sometimes called an old moon. It’s seen in the east before dawn. This month’s old moon recently swept past the star Aldebaran. It’s due to pass near Venus on the mornings of August 18 and 19. The moon is now showing us less and less of its lighted side each morning, and rising closer to the sunrise. It’s heading toward new moon and a rendezvous with the sun – a total solar eclipse – on August 21, 2017!
Over the next several mornings, watch for the waning crescent moon in the early morning sky. You’ll see it get slimmer and slimmer as it heads toward the eclipse. When’s the last waning moon you’ll see before eclipse day? From the Northern Hemisphere, it should be fairly easy to pick out the very slim waning crescent, very close to the sunrise point on the horizon, just before sunrise on Sunday, August 20.
As the moon orbits Earth, it changes phase in an orderly way. Follow these links to understand the various phases of the moon.
Where’s the moon? Waxing crescent
Where’s the moon? First quarter
Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous
What’s special about a full moon?
Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous
Where’s the moon? Last quarter
Where’s the moon? Waning crescent
Where’s the moon? New phase
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.