My Guide to Understanding Moon Phases Oct 27, 2023 2:40:41 GMT
Post by Admin on Oct 27, 2023 2:40:41 GMT
My Guide to Understanding Moon Phases
What everyone needs to understand is that the Moon's light, and shadows, swipe from right to left.
Many students, and people, don't understand this - they expect the Moon's light/shadows to go from left to right - but it doesn't.
Just remember, the moon's light, and it's shadows, go across it from right to left.
When the moon's light is moving, swiping, from right to left, it is "waxing." If the light is moving across the moon from right to left, no matter what phase it's in, it's "waxing." So if it looks like a Crescent Moon that is going from right to left, it's a Waxing Crescent. If the moon looks like it is 3/4th or more lit from right to left, it is a Waxing Gibbous. If it looks like half a moon lit up from its right side and dark on its left side, it's a Waxing Quarter moon. Why isn't it called a Waxing Half Moon? Because the moon is a full sphere, half of it lit up is only 1/4th of it lit up since the moon has four halves - two halves that we can see and two halves on the dark side of the Moon that we never see.
So, if the Moon look's like it is dark on the right side, since it swipes from right to left, any phase of the Moon on it's right side that is dark, well it's in a "Waning" phase. If it looks like a slightly dark Moon on it's right side, it's a Waning Gibbous. If it looks like a half moon, which it is really a 1/4 moon, then it is a Waning Quarter Moon. If it looks like it is dark on most of it's right side and is a lit up Crescent on the left side, then it is a Waning Crescent.
The moon "Waxes" its light from right to left. The moon is "Waxing" when light swipes across it from right to left. If darkness is swiping across the moon from right to left, it is "Waning." There is generally only Crescents, Gibbous, and Quarter Moons (Quarter Moon's look like a half Moon but aren't).
Here are the phases of the moon to study. Quiz yourself on what "phase" it's in without looking at the description under it.
Michael, BS, MA