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Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous

Watch for the moon late at night now, or in the early morning. When you see it, you might think it looks oddly egg-shaped, like a misshapen clone of a full moon.

Waning gibbous moon – December 5, 2017 – via Steven Arthur Sweet in Etobicoke, Ontario and his Facebook page Lunar 101 Moon Book. Thank you, Steven!

Are you looking for the moon and not finding it? That’s because the moon is now in a waning gibbous phase: less than full but more than half-lighted. It’s rising later at night and appearing in the predawn sky and in the sky after sunrise. Last quarter moon will come on December 10, 2017 at 07:51 UTC. (Translate to your time zone here).

A waning gibbous moon can surprise you if you happen to be out late in the evening. It rises eerily some hours after sunset, glowing red like a full moon when it’s near the horizon.

Sometimes it looks like a misshapen clone of a full moon.

A waning gibbous moon also initiates a rash of questions about seeing the moon during the day.

If it rises late at night, you know the waning gibbous moon must set after sunrise.

In fact, in the few days after full moon, you’ll often see the waning gibbous moon in the west in early morning, floating against the pale blue sky.

Marcy Fisher captured this scene on October 7, 2017 from Ocala, Florida, a couple of days after full moon, when the moon was in a waning gibbous phase.

As the moon orbits Earth, it changes phase in an orderly way. Follow these links to understand the various phases of the moon.

Four keys to understanding moon phases

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

Moon in 2017: Phases, cycles, eclipses, supermoons and more

Deborah Byrd

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