The 1st and 3rd Quarter Moon

Compare/Contrast and explanation By: Eva Fooshee

Compare and contrast (from my place on Earth)

On the Earth there are at least two big/obvious changes. The first being that the two moons have their light (or more accurately the amount of sunlight we can see from Earth) are on different sides. The first quarter moon has it's light on the right, while the third quarter shows it's light on the left.


The second large difference is the shift in the amount of light seen directly after the quarter moon. The first quarter is what what we call a waning quarter, meaning that after the quarter moon the amount of light that is able to be seen becomes less and less. The third quarter, however, is a waxing quarter, meaning that after the quarter moon the amount of light seen grows.


Now onto the comparisons. Both of these moons can be seen as a half lit up moon. This, of coarse, means that these two moons have about the amount of light ( that can be seen). They also both are a halfway point between a full an new moon.

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Compare and Contrast (from ISS)

First of all, you must know that the two views will be different . The ISS is set in a place where when you when you see the different moon phases instead of seeing things like crescents and quarters, you see something like this:
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This because when on the earth you can only see the moon from one side due to the moon's revolution, and the Earth's rotation. However, from the ISS you see a completely different side.of the moon. Having said that the big difference ( that I know of) between first and third quarter from ISS is, in reference to the earth and sun, they are on opposite sides of the earth.

Waning and Waxing

In the first paragraph I mentioned waning and waxing quarters, and a loose definition on what they are. But why are there waning and waxing phases? Well that is what I hope to make clear in this portion of my project.


To understand waning and waxing, you must first understand the Moon's revolution. So, inn order to familiarize you with the Moon's revolution, there will be a picture below.

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You must also know that the sun's reflected light is what causes the moon to glow, and the sun always lights up the half of the moon closest to/facing the sun.


Okay, now that that's finally out of the way, let's start the whole waning and waxing thing. The waning part of the Moon's cycle occurs when the Moon gets closer to the sun. The sun (as stated previously) only shines on half of the Moon and as the Moon gets closer to the sun the amount amount of light we are able to see (here from Earth) becomes less. This is because the sun only shines from one place, whereas the moon moves in such way that causes our view of the reflected sunlight to be obscured. The waxing phase of the Moon's cycle is pretty much the opposite of the waning phase. During the waxing phase the Moon moves away from the Sun, and (using the same reasoning I used for waning, only backwards) let's us see more of the Sun's reflected light.