2021 moon phases, with distances from Earth

2021 moon phases in a chart format. Dates closest to new moon provide the darkest skies and the best opportunities for stargazing and meteor-watching.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

What is a last quarter moon?

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