1st and 3rd Quarter

By: Eve Anders


The 1st quarter always happens in the evening sky while the 3rd quarter happens in the morning sky. When it is the 1st quarter in the moons month-long orbit has just passed the sun and coming out into the evening sky. Lots of people see it. Since the last quarter rises around midnight, many fewer see it, because it comes up only after people have gone to bed.

At first quarter, we see the western part of the moons face from earth. The last quarter shows more of the eastern half.

At first quarter, the illuminated area of the moon is growing or "waxing." Each night it gets larger, until a week later the moon is full. At last quarter it is getting smaller night by night, or "waning," until at new moon is fully covered by the earth and no light is reflecting off of it.

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Both the 1st and 3rd quarter moon have the same shape just in a different side or angle. They are both also the same distance from the sun but on opposite sides of the earth.

They have the same amount of light illuminating of of them. And they are both moon phases.

Moon Phases from Earth

When on earth you see the moon phases shown in the diagram below.
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Moon Phases from space

When you are up in space in the space station you don't see normal moon phases because the sun is lit up on different parts of the moon that you can see. The moon phases seen from the space station are shown in the diagram below.
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Waxing and Waning

The 1st quarter moon is waxing which mean that the amount of light is growing from the right to the left. The 3rd quarter moon is waning which mean the light is decreasing and it starts decreasing from the left to the right.