Phases of the Moon
By: Mia Lynn
What are the different moon phases?
The moon phases in order of appearance are new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent. If a moon phase is waxing, it means it's getting bigger. When a moon phase is waxing, light is on the right side of the moon. If a moon phase is waning, it means it's getting smaller. When a moon phase is waning, light is on the left side of the moon.
What are first and third quarter moons?
First and third quarter moons are known as half moons. They appear similar and are often grouped together because they both have light shining on only one half of the moon. However, a first quarter moon is waxing, and a third quarter moon is waning. The right side of the first quarter moon has light shining on it, which means that phase is waxing. The left side of a third quarter moon has light shining on it, which means that phase is waning.
From earth you only ever see one side of the moon. The only way to see the other half would be from space. Therefore, the side of the moon we see from earth would be the opposite side that an astronaut would see from space.