The Lunar Phases

TheLunar Phases


TheLunar Phases

Alsoknown as phases of the moon, the lunar phase is the shapes of themoon illuminated the sun or the shapes of the moon are seen when one(observer) views it from the earth. The lunar phase change as themoon orbits the earth in accordance with the changing positions ofthe sun and moon relative to the earth. The lunar phases aredependent on the moon`s position in relation to the sun and earth(Chakraborty,2014).This paper is a representation of the moon phases as they are viewedfrom the earth.

Thereare different shapes of the moon, which includes: Newmoon, Waxing crescent, first quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full moon,Waning Gibbous, Last quarter (Last quarter), and finally the WaningCrescent (Chakraborty,2014).

Fig1.1 (Wistisen,2012)

Fig1.2 (Chakraborty,2014)

Withreference to the diagram 1.2 above, the first phase is the new moonthis occurs when the moon is flanked between the earth and the sun,i.e., the three objects are in an almost the same alignment. The newmoon phase is not visible. The waxing crescent comes second andrepresents the phase where less than half of the moon is illuminated.This phase can be seen late morning or post-dusk. The first quarteris visible when the moon is half illuminated and half in the shadow.The moon shapes continue to change, and the sunlight portioncontinues to increase, and when more than half, this is referred asWaxing gibbous. This is followed by the full ‘MoonPhase’,the moon, earth and sun are in approximate alignment, but theopposite in the case of the new moon is that the moon is on theopposite side of the earth hence the entire part of sunlight isfacing the earth. After the full moon, again the part of the moonbeing illuminated starts to reduce. The moon forms the last quarter,waning crescent and then the phases starts again with the new moon(Wistisen,2012).Finally, it takes 27 days and approximate 8 hours for the moon tocompletely make a full orbit around the earth.


Chakraborty,U. (2014). Effects of different phases of the lunar month onhumans.&nbspBiologicalRhythm Research,&nbsp45(3), 383-396.

Wistisen,M. (2012). Moon Phases.&nbspPlanetarium,&nbsp41(4), 14-22.