Defining Each of the Moon Phases


The moon has a phenomenally simple yet detailed set of phases, and furthermore has provided the earth and its population with a fluorescent light during the night time that is absolutely stunning. The moon has multiple phases, and each of the phases have a special characteristic as to why the moon appears the way it does. New moons occur when the moon is set relatively in the middle between the earth and the sun. A full moon is when the moon, earth, and sun are all in relatively close alignment, and the shadowed portion of the moon is completely hidden. These two phases are proportionally less frequent within the moon phases in comparison to that of first and third quarter moons, otherwise known as half moons. These half moons are prevalent when the moon is at a 90 degree angle in relation to the earth and sun.

These four phases of the moon are often distinguished by lunar terms, and each of these four lunar terms directly corresponding to the phase that the moon is in. The four lunar phases are: crescent, gibbous, waxing, and waning. Crescent referring to when the moon phases is less than half illuminated, gibbous referring to the moon is more than half illuminated, waxing means to grow or expand in terms of illumination, and finally waning meaning to shrink or decrease in illumination.


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