Saint Luna

Understanding the Phases of the Moon

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David Suk

Founder, CEO, Entrepreneur and overall cocktail enthusiast.

Understanding the Phases of the Moon

The phases of the moon are a captivating celestial phenomenon that have fascinated humans for millennia. These phases are a result of the moon’s orbit around Earth, and they dictate how much of the moon’s surface is illuminated by the sun as seen from our perspective.

  1. New Moon: The lunar cycle begins with the new moon, when the moon is positioned between the Earth and the sun. During this phase, the side of the moon facing Earth is in shadow, making it invisible to the naked eye.
  2. Waxing Crescent: As the moon moves eastward away from the sun, a sliver of illumination becomes visible, forming a crescent. This phase grows as more of the moon’s surface catches the sun’s light.
  3. First Quarter: Approximately a week after the new moon, half of the moon is illuminated. This phase, also known as the half-moon, shows the right side of the moon lit up.
  4. Waxing Gibbous: Following the first quarter, the moon continues to wax, meaning the illuminated portion is increasing. More than half of the moon is now visible.
  5. Full Moon: About two weeks after the new moon, the moon is fully illuminated as it is directly opposite the sun, with Earth in between. This phase is often the most striking.
  6. Waning Gibbous: After the full moon, the light begins to wane, or decrease. The moon starts to shrink back toward a crescent shape.
  7. Last Quarter: Similar to the first quarter, but now the left half is visible. This phase marks three-quarters of the lunar cycle.
  8. Waning Crescent: The moon continues to wane until only a thin crescent is visible before it returns to the new moon phase.

Understanding these phases not only enhances our appreciation of the night sky but also connects us to the rhythmic patterns of nature. Each phase offers its unique beauty, making the moon a constant source of wonder and inspiration.

Moon phases
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