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What Phase of the Moon is Your Birthday In?

Anna ScanlonAugust 12, 2010

What Phase of the Moon is Your Birthday In?

Every month, the Moon goes through eight phases. The phases are given their name due to the amount of the moon we can see and whether the visible part of the Moon is increasing or decreasing. The four major Moon phases include New, 1st Quarter, Full, and Last Quarter and relate to the positions of the sun. The Moon doesn’t create its own light, like the Sun, but appears illuminated due to the sunlight reflecting back on us. It takes the Moon approximately 29.5 days to pass through all eight of its phases. Over the course of a month, you can see each individual phase from new Moon to new Moon. These phases always repeat every month and follow the same order.

New Moon: The New Moon appears when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned. As the Sun’s light reflects off the Moon, the Moon appears dark.

  • Phases of the Moon: Details about the revolution of the Moon and Earth with photographs of each Moon phase.

Waxing Crescent Moon: The Waxing Crescent Moon is the phase between the New Moon and First Quarter. The moon remains dark with the exception of a sliver of brightness to the right.

First Quarter: The First Quarter Moon is to the left of the Sun and Earth and is moving counter-clockwise. Half of the moon is visible to the Earth, resulting in one bright half and one dark half.

  • The First Quarter Moon: Photograph of a First Quarter Moon that appears with one dark side and one bright side.

Waxing Gibbous Moon: The Waxing Gibbous Moon is the phase between the First Quarter and Full Moon. In this phase, the majority of the bright side is visible to Earth.

  • The Gibbous Moon: Labeled photograph of the Waxing Gibbous Moon which shows individual craters.
  • Waxing Gibbous Moon: Brief description and photograph that shows the direction of the Moon’s orbital motion.

Full Moon: The Full Moon is created when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned. The entire side of the moon that faces earth is now illuminated.

  • The Full Moon: Here you will find a photograph of a Full Moon that appears completely bright.

Waning Gibbous Moon: The Waning Gibbous Moon appears after a Full Moon and is in a position that is opposite of the Waxing Gibbous phase. The right edge of the Moon appears to be dark.

  • Waning Gibbous: Photograph and description of the Waning Gibbous Moon shown at 19.7 days old or 4.4 days past full.

Last Quarter Moon: The Last Quarter Moon appears to the right of the Sun and Earth, as the light of the Sun only falls on the side of the Moon that currently faces it. This phase appears as a half moon as the opposite side of the First Quarter is now bright.

  • Moon Photo Page: Find photographs of the Moon phases and how many days the Moon is at age stage.
  • Third Quarter Moon: Brief information about the Third Quarter Moon and when it can be spotted in the sky.

Waning Crescent Moon: The Waning Crescent Moon is present between the Last Quarter and New Moon phases. A crescent on the illuminated side shows on the left edge, closest to the Sun.

  • Moon Phases: Photographs and information on each phase of the Moon.

Phases of the Moon Quiz: Take the Phases of the Moon Quiz from NASA's StarChild Project website.