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Phases of the Moon

Lesson on Moon phases.
by

Michelle Cipriano

on 22 October 2010

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Transcript of Phases of the Moon

Let's Review... The Moon The Earth's only satellite is the Moon. When Referring to the moon or the moon's effects, we use lunar from the latin "luna."
The Moon moves counterclockwise around the Earth. The Moon's rotation and revolution periods are both 27.3 days. On Earth the revolution of the Moon takes 29 days because the Earth is moving around the Sun as the Moon revolves around the Earth. We call this extended revolution the Synodic Revolution. The Moon's orbit around the Earth is not horizontal like a hula hoop, but angles up and down as it revolves around the Earth. The Phases of the Moon The Moon is always changing from the Earth's point of view. These different appearances are called phases, and there is a specific name for each phase. The Individual Phases When you cannot see the Moon, this phase is called the New Moon. No, not that New Moon... ...this New Moon. When you can see the entire Moon it is a Full Moon. The rest of the phase names have two forms: waxing and waning. Waxing refers to the phases building up to the Full Moon, while waning refers to the phases returning to the New Moon.
The first phase after a New Moon is a Waxing Crescent. Then comes the First Quarter The Waxing Gibbous is the last phase before the Full Moon. The first phase after the Full Moon is the Waning Gibbous. The Third Quarter is named the third because starting from
the New Moon, the First Quarter is during the waxing phases and
the "second quarter" would be the Full Moon. The last phase before the New Moon is the Waning Crescent.
Sun and Moon The reason that the phases of the Moon even exist is because of the Moon's position to the Sun. When we refer to the dark side of the Moon, we are referring to the side of the Moon not directed at the Sun. The dark side of the Moon depends completely on what phase the Moon is in. Location Location Location When the Moon is a New Moon it means that the Moon is located between the Sun and Earth. When the Moon is a Full Moon, then the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun. The waxing phases all take place on the same side of the Earth and the waning phases all take place on the opposite side. From the surface of the Earth the Moon's phases move from right to left. The Waxing Crescent is the right side of the Moon. The Waning Crescent is the left side of the Moon. The phases wax and wan like opening and closing a book. It is important to remember that the two Gibbous surround the Full Moon and that the two Crescents surround the New Moon. Finally, while Earth sees the phases of the Moon, those phases are most visible at night. What we see of the Moon is what is illuminated by the Sun and is visible in the Earth's skies. The New Moon is invisible because it is actually in the sky during hours of the strongest sunlight. Night and Day
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