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Last Updated: Feb 7th, 2010 - 09:52:29 

Science  


The 8 Phases of the Moon
By Sarah Lane, Ben Dieppa
May 27, 2004, 17:41

Untitled Document

Topic: The 8 Phases of the Moon

ClassBrain Visitor: I don't understand the moon phases. The pictures are confusing to me. Can you explain how the moon phases work?  I'm in third grade.

ClassBrain Response:
Well no wonder you are confused! The phases of the moon can be hard to understand but hopefully these pictures and descriptions will help you out. We will take you through each of the eight phases.

  Phase 1 - New Moon - The side of the moon that is facing the Earth is not lit up by the sun. At this time the moon is not visible.
  Phase 2 - Waxing Crescent - A small part (less than 1/2) of the moon is lit up at this point. The part that is lit up is slowly getting bigger.
  Phase 3 - First Quarter - One half of the moon is lit up by the sun at this point. The part that is lit up is slowly getting bigger.
  Phase 4 - Waxing Gibbous - At this time half of the moon is lit up. The part that is lit is slowly getting bigger. Waxing means to slowly get bigger.
  Phase 5 - Full Moon - The side of the moon that is lit up by the sun is facing the Earth. The entire moon is lit up at this point.
  Phase 6 - Waning Gibbous - The moon is not quite lit up all the way by sunlight. The part of the moon this is lit is slowly getting smaller. Waning means to slowly get smaller.
  Phase 7 - Last Quarter - Half of the moon is lit up but the sun. The part that we can see lit up is slowly getting smaller.
  Phase 8 - Waning Crescent - A small part of the moon is lit up at this point. It is getting smaller by the minute.

FUN FACT
Did you know that a full moon can happen twice in one month? When this happens, the second full moon of the month is called a Blue Moon!


Learn more about phases of the moon with the help of Google
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