Moon Phases

Moon, the beautiful silver disc hanging in the night sky, always gives me a sense of mutability and mystery. Have you ever looked up the sky and have a careful observation of the Moon? Have you ever had this question: “Why does the Moon look different every night? Do these changes follow particular patterns?” With such questions, I am ready to explore the science behind it and learn the interesting knowledge about Moon Phases.

completemoonphases
Picture by Stanford Solar Center

According to the Wikipedia, the lunar phase or phase of the moon is the shape of the illuminated portion of the Moon as seen by an observer on Earth. The lunar phases change cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth.

One easy way to understand the moon phase is through an easy and interesting Moon Phase Demonstration Activity! Simply imagine a light source (a lamp) as the Sun, a ball that you will hold in your hand as the Moon and yourself as a observer standing on Earth. Hold the Moon ball out level with you head and try turning you body according to the position of the lamp. Then you will see the changes in the illuminated portion of the ball and get to know how will each moon phase happen.

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Picture by NASA

At the time I am editing this blog post, the Moon is in a Waning Gibbous phase, which is the first phase after the Full Moon occurs. If you are curious about what phase the moon is in at the time you read this blog, exploring Today’s Moon Phase at the Moongiant Website.

It is very exciting to find out that we just had a Full Moon on Feb 11th, 2017, which is the day before yesterday!

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4 thoughts on “Moon Phases

  1. It is very funny and interesting in the same way that I used to think moon has many shapes back when I was a little girl. I would look at the sky during nights and wonder why are the shapes different. Now that I know the part of moon illuminated by the Sun is always the same, and what makes it different is the position. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading my blog! I also find it interesting that always half of the moon’s surface is illuminated by the Sun. The Moon Phase Demonstration activity in our astronomy class really help me get better understand of lunar phases.

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    2. The part of the moon that is illuminated changes, but we can only observe certain parts. We never observe the ‘dark side’ of the moon but it still gets its fair share of sunlight.

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  2. Hi! The Moon has always fascinated me. I think, this planet is our chance to see a small piece of the space, the whole other and different world that we haven’t fully explored yet. I find it very interesting that we can only see certain parts of the Moon in certain times, and that we can only see a one side of it. When I look at the planet and think about all factors that make it be in this place, time, and phase, I feel like we, humans on the Earth, are a part of some colossal process.

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