Q. What are the different phases of the moon?
A.. Many people identify 8 different phases of the moon. Here they are with a picture of what it might look like
|New||Waxing Crescent||1st Qtr||Waxing Gibbous||Full||Waning Gibbous||Last Qtr||Waning Crescent|
Q. How long does it take the moon to make one complete cycle?
A. About 29 1/2 days
Q. Is the phase of the moon different at different places on earth?
A. No. The phase of the moon is determined by the relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun, so it is the same for everyone on Earth.
Q. How can I find out when the Moon rises? Is it related to its phase?
A. Yes. The full moon rises at about Sunset. Each night, it comes up about 48 minutes later. The new moon is harder to see but it rises around the same time as the Sun.
Q. Why does the Moon look full for so long?
A. Because of the geometry of the way the light from the sun falls on the moon and is Observed by us here on earth, the full Moon and New moon seem to last longer than the other phases. But, in fact, the moon is at any particular phase for just an instant, like 12:00 noon, it happens and then it is past. This optical illusion probably contributes to many myths about things being more likely to happen when the Moon is full.
Q. But doesn't the Moon have any effect on things on Earth?
A. Sure it does, a big one. The tug of the Moon and Sun can affect the oceans, giving us the tides. The light of a full moon can be very bright, affecting animal's (including people) hunting habits. The full moon has been known to cause people to grab a sleeping bag, bottle of wine, loved one, telescope, drawing pad, or any combination of those items and head outside for a night under the Moon. That is pretty powerful..
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