By: Rebecca Hill
Phases of the Moon
There are 8 phases of the moon: New moon (0% of light), Waxing Crescent(1%-49%), First quarter(50%), Waxing Gibbous (51%-99%), Full Moon(100%), Waning Gibbous(99%-51%), 3rd Quarter(50%), Waning Crescent(49%-1%). The phases of the moon repeat over and over again, but the size of the moon doesn't actually change. The Moon reflects sunlight off of its surface. On Earth we see the part of the Moon that the light reflected off of. We see different amounts of light because the moon revolves around Earth, so the Earth blocks some of the Moon's sunlight. On the way to a Full Moon the phases of the moon are Waxing and the light is on the right side. On the way to a New Moon the phases of the Moon are Waning and the light is on the left side.
We have a different perspective of the moon than an astronaut on the International Space Station does. In space you are able to see the entire moon, or at least you are able to tell that it is round. On Earth the moon appears flat because we only see half of the moon. From space you can see the part of the moon that is illuminated.
1st Quarter vs. 3rd Quarter
First Quarter: Light is on the left side, follows after a waxing Crescent, comes before a waxing Gibbous, on the way to a Full Moon.
Third Quarter: Light is on the right side, follows after a Waning Gibbous, comes before a Waning Crescent, on the way to a New Moon.
Similarities: Both show 50% of the moon from Earth, In the middle on the way to a New Moon or Full Moon.