We are all familiar with the phases of the moon, which allow us to predict when it will be visible in the sky.
It results from how our planet’s orbit around the Sun positions the Moon relative to Earth in it’s orbit. The moon rotates on it’s axis just like Earth does, but it takes about 27 days for this rotation to occur.
When we see the moon at different phases, what we see in different parts of its surface is illuminated by sunlight.
What Are Moon Phases & Why Do We See Different Ones?
The moon phases are the different stages of the moon’s cycle, and we see different ones depending on the lunar calendar.
This is because there are two types of lunar calendars, one which follows a 29.5-day cycle and another that follows a 28.5-day cycle.
The difference may not seem much out of context, but it can significantly impact what phase we see in any given month.
Moon phases are used to tell time, track the future, and predict the climate. The new moon phase, for example, is the darkest phase of the moon because it has no light shining on it from Earth or the sun.
On the other hand, the complete moon phase is when there are no shadows on our planet because it has perfect sunlight shining down on Earth’s surface uninterrupted by clouds.
This can be very useful when you’re in an unfamiliar location with a difference in daylight saving time.
It also lets you figure out what time zone you’re in quickly – just count how many night hours have passed since sunset and look at your chosen day’s chart for that number corresponding to a phase of the moon.
The moon’s phases are caused by its orbit around Earth. When the moon is waxing (getting closer), it will be seen as a crescent or a half-moon and eventually into a full moon phase.
The opposite happens when the moon is waning (moving further away).
What is a Waxing Crescent? Or a First Quarter Moon?
Its shape, a slanting crescent, is the first sign of the moon becoming a waxing moon. A waxing crescent is a lunar crescent that does not have a sharp point on either end.
It looks like a slanting crescent. The shape of this new moon fades as it becomes more and more visible from Earth’s surface as it becomes more illuminated by the sun as the days progress.
A waxing crescent is an astronomical term meaning a phase of the moon that appears to be growing in size but not yet wholly lit on one side.
The term refers to the moon’s shape – with one lit side and then waxing (growing) towards its whole light.
What Are the Phases of The Moon?
The phase of the moon is one of the many astronomical phenomena that are important for humans. The moon’s phases are caused by how the sun’s light interacts with Earth’s natural satellite, which is our moon.
The phases are recognizable to us because they are based on the relative positions of Earth, sun, and moon in space.
They happen because our planet rotates on its axis, causing sunlight to fall on different parts of it at different times.
There are twelve phases in total, which correspond with various names that have been assigned to them by various cultures over time.
The phases of the moon can be divided into equal parts. These parts are usually called the waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous and last quarter.
How Do the Phases of The Moon Affect the Earth?
There has been a lot of research and curiosity about the moon and how it affects the earth. However, we still don’t know what’s going on up there.
Scientists have studied the phases of the moon and their impact on our planet to find out if they have any relation to Earth’s natural cycles.
The lunar cycle is measured in days, weeks, months, years, centuries, and millennia. It starts with a new moon when no light can be seen from the sun on Earth.
Since all celestial bodies are aligned in one direction, scientists are interested in studying how these alignments affect Earth’s gravitational pull.
How Do the Moon Phases Work?
The moon phases are the different stages of the moon’s cycle. Each month, the moon goes through these phases, including the full moon, the new moon, and more.
For starters, the Earth revolves around the sun, which rotates differently than the Moon.
This causes our planet to experience day and night. Meanwhile, the Moon is constantly orbiting Earth at a synchronized pace; it takes 27 days for one orbit around our planet.
As it orbits Earth, the Moon constantly changes its apparent size about Earth, which creates its various phases – new moon to full moon to waning crescent back to new again.
How Do the Moon Phases Affect the Sea?
The moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth is responsible for the tides in the oceans. The Sun also affects this, but its influence is much weaker than that of the Moon.
The Sun and Moon exert their dominance over the Earth’s oceans by constantly pulling water towards them and then pushing it away. This back and forth motion causes what we know as tides.
What Is A Blood Moon?
A Blood Moon is a lunar eclipse, but not all lunar eclipses are blood moons. There are four lunar eclipses: penumbral, partial, total, and blood moon.
The first three are caused by the Earth’s shadow on the moon. A penumbral eclipse is when Earth’s outer shadow partially covers the moon. A partial eclipse happens when Earth’s inner shadow partially covers the moon.
A total eclipse is when Earth’s umbra entirely or almost completely covers the moon. And finally, a blood moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse because light refraction in Earth’s atmosphere gives it an eerie red glow.
How Does the Moon Affect Humans?
The moon does affect our behavior and has many effects on our physical, mental, and social well-being.
The moon produces electromagnetic frequencies that can result in increased or decreased serotonin levels. Higher levels of serotonin are linked to lower levels of aggression.
The full moon affects people because it is an external light source that can affect their sleeping cycle and mood.
It also affects how people think about things, with a correlation between a full moon and reports of crime going up.
People with bipolar disorder have been shown to have different sleep patterns depending on the phase of the lunar cycle.
The moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth and was instrumental in helping us understand that our planet is round. The phases of the moon are important to our understanding of timekeeping.
Since its beginning, the moon has been a mystery, with many people wondering what it is, why it’s here, and how it operates. This paradoxical object has fascinated scientists for centuries.
Beginning in ancient times, humans have tried to understand this celestial wonder by studying its motions, using it as a tool for timekeeping and tracking seasons on Earth, and even planting flags on its surface.
The closer we look at this cosmic body, the more questions we find to ask about it–and there’s no telling when we’ll answer them all.
- How Far Is the Moon from Earth?
- How Long Does it Take to Get to the Moon?
- How Many Days in 6 Months?
- Why Are Planets Round?
- How Many Moons Does Jupiter Have?
- Why Is Venus Hotter Than Mercury?
- Why Do Sunspots Appear Dark?
- Bull vs. Bear Market Phase
- Why Do Wolves Howl at the Moon?
- Why Is the Sky Blue?