What are Moon Phases? - FactzPedia

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What are Moon Phases?

 

What are Moon Phases?


We divide the moon cycle into eight phases within the western world.

This means that there are eight different moons within one cycle, known as a Lunar Month.

The cycle lasts for around 29.5 days, so it is not quite a whole calendar month, but this was used as a tool to create the calendar we use today.

The cycle outlines the journey of when the Moon transitions from being a New Moon to a Full Moon and then back to being a New Moon for the cycle to repeat itself.

So why not check the sky tonight and see what stage of the cycle we are in?

This phase occurs between the new Moon and first quarter phases. At the beginning of this stage, we see a thin, crescent-shape Moon, which, in the Northern Hemisphere, appears on the right side. The lit area slowly widens each day, covering more and more of the right side of the Moon’s surface until the first quarter phase, when the Moon’s entire right side is illuminated. (In the Southern Hemisphere, the same thing happens, only on the left side.)

Some lunar and lunisolar calendars, such as the Islamic (or Hijri) calendar, define the start of a month as when the Moon first becomes visible, which is usually a day or so after the new Moon, during its waxing crescent stage

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