8 Phases of the Moon

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by Lfout1
Last updated 6 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Astronomy
Grade:
5,6

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8 Phases of the Moon

Why does the Moon appear to have different shapes?

The 8 phases of the Moon

The Moon doesn't change exactly shape. The Earth blocks sun light from getting to the Moon in varying amounts based on the position of the Earth. The illuminated part of the moon is the sun reflecting off the moon, the dark part is actually the earth's shadow! Each 'shape' of the Moon is actually what is called a phase. There are 8 different phases of the Moon, the Moon's illumination changes as it orbits the Earth. The Moon takes about 28 days to orbit the Earth, therefore we see a complete Moon phase about every month!

What will the Moon look like tonight? Find out here!

Fun Fact Alert:Did you know that we only see one side of the Moon?The far side of the moon is not visible from Earth!

Far Side

Near Side

Key TermsNew Moon: Moon is not visible, Moon is between Sun & Earth.Full Moon: Moon is fully illuminated, Moon is between the Sun and Moon.Cresent: Moon is less than half lit.Gibbous: The moon is more than half lit.First/Last Quarter: Half of the Moon is lit. Waning: Illumination is decreasing. (Full Moon back to New Moon)Waxing: Illumination is increasing. (New Moon back to Full Moon)

See! Science can be fun!


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