Very thin crescent against lavender sky.

Great chance to spot a very young moon April 12

From central North America on April 12, 2021, the moon will be less than 24 hours old. On April 12 at sunset, as soon as the sun slips below the horizon, the race begins to spot a young moon, less than a day old … before it sets!

A composite of phases of the moon.

Dates and times of moon phases in 2021

Find out when the next new moon, 1st quarter moon, full moon or last quarter moon will occur in 2021.

A composite image, showing a mountain ridgeline with the large figure of a human snoozing alongside, and various moon phases arcing overhead.

People sleep less before a full moon

Researchers find that whether you live in a rural or urban environment, your sleep patterns are affected by the full moon. On the nights leading up to full moon, people fall asleep later and sleep less overall.

5 images of the waxing moon tilting over 4 hours.

Do we all see the same moon phase?

No matter where you are on the globe, we all see the same moon. So why do photos from a distant location sometimes look different from what you’re seeing?

What is a waxing gibbous moon?

A waxing gibbous moon is in the sky when darkness falls. It lights up the early evening. It appears more than half lighted, but less than full.

First quarter moon, juxtaposed with a telescopic view of the moon at this phase.

What is a 1st quarter moon?

The first quarter moon occurs halfway between new moon and full moon. One quarter of the moon is visible from Earth, meaning that you see half the daylit side of the moon.

Exceedingly thin crescent moon on an orange twilight background.

What is a waning crescent moon?

A waning crescent moon can be found in the east before sunrise. It’s waning toward new moon, when the moon will be between Earth and the sun.

Crescent moon shot with a blue filter, so that the darkened portion of the moon looks blue.

What is a waxing crescent moon?

A waxing crescent moon shines in the west after sunset. It quickly follows the sun below the western horizon.

Last quarter moon after rising, lighted portion facing straight downward.

What is a last quarter moon?

The last quarter moon appears a week after full moon and a week before new moon.

Top 4 keys to understanding moon phases

How can you understand what causes the various phases of the moon? Four tips, here.

What is a new moon?

New moons generally can’t be seen. They cross the sky with the sun during the day. The moon’s shadow side is toward Earth.

What is a full moon?

The full moon is opposite the sun in its orbit, so the sunlit day side of the moon is what you see.

What is a waning gibbous moon?

The waning gibbous moon falls between full and last quarter. See it best from late night through early morning.

A composite of phases of the moon.

Moon phases 2021 in text format

Read a list of the phases of the moon for all of 2021.

Near 1st quarter moon.

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.’