Phases of the Moon

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Phases of the Moon

What is the phase of the moon?
The changing shape of the bright part of the Moon that we see is called its phase. 

What causes part of the Moon to be lit up?
The moon is illuminated because it reflects the light from the sun. The part of the moon facing the sun is lit up. The part facing away from the sun is in darkness.

What causes the different phases of the Moon?
The phases of the Moon depend on its position in relation to the Sun and Earth. As the Moon makes its way around the Earth, we see the bright parts of the Moon's surface at different angles. These are called "phases" of the Moon.

What are the different phases of the Moon called?
The phases of the moon work in a cycle starting with the new moon.

There are eight phases of the moon
The phases are named after how much of the moon we can see, and whether the amount visible is increasing, or decreasing each day.


It takes our Moon about 29.5 days to completely cycle through all eight phases. This is known as a Lunar month

The Phases of the Moon

As the moon circles the Earth, the shape of the moon appears to change; this is because different amounts of the illuminated part of the moon are facing us. The shape varies from a full moon (when the Earth is between the sun and the moon) to a new moon (when the moon is between the sun and the Earth).


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