Names and images of the 8 moon phases

Contents:

  1. Description of the moon phases
          
    New Moon
    Waxing Crescent Moon
    First Quarter Moon
    Waxing Gibbous Moon
    Full Moon
    Waning Gibbous Moon
    Last Quarter Moon
    Waning Crescent Moon
    Blue Moons
    Months without a full
    moon

    Moon Rise Times
     

  2. Percent of the Moon's surface illuminated
     

  3. Moon phases calendar table for the years 2007 - 2014


1. Description of the moon phases

The revolution of the Moon around the Earth makes the Moon appear as if it is changing shape in the sky. This is caused by the different angles from which we see the bright part of the Moon's surface.
These are called "phases" of the Moon. Of course, the Moon doesn't generate any light itself; it just reflects the light of the Sun. The Moon passes through four major shapes during a cycle that repeats itself every 29.5 days. The phases always follow one another in the same order.

by daily phase screensaver
Today's Moon Phase
by the U.S. Naval Observatory

The moon phases were understood as early as 500 BC by the Greeks. The key clue is that the phase of the Moon correlates with its angular distance from the Sun. For instance, the Moon is in its crescent phase when it is near the Sun in the sky but full when it is opposite the Sun. The Greeks realized this implies the Moon is a solid sphere, in orbit about the Earth, half of which is always illuminated by the Sun.

 the 8 phases of the moon diagram, 8 Phases Moon

In the figure above you are looking down on the Earth's North Pole. The Earth spins counterclockwise (in 24 hours), and the Moon orbits counterclockwise (in 27 days). The fraction of the Moon's sunlit hemisphere which we can see from Earth determines the lunar phase at any time. We see a "full," "crescent," or dark ("new") Moon depending on the angle between the Sun and Moon as viewed from Earth.

New Moon lunar phase
 

New Moon
This is the first of the moon phases

Waxing Crescent Moon
"Waxing" means growing and refers to
the size  of the illuminated part of the moon that is increasing.

Waxing Crescent Moon lunar phase
 

First Quarter Moon lunar phase
 

First Quarter Moon 

Waxing Gibbous Moon

Waxing Gibbous Moon lunar phase
 


Full Moon lunar phase

Full Moon
The full moon occurs when the Moon lies on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun. The moon as seen from the surface of the earth is fully illuminated by the sun at this time, presenting a "full" round disc to viewers on earth. As always, only half the total surface of the moon is illuminated.
The full moon reaches its highest elevation at midnight

A full moon is the only time when a lunar eclipse is possible; at that time the moon may move through the shadow cast by the earth. However, because of the tilt of the moon's orbit around the earth relative to the earth's orbit around the sun, the moon may pass above or below the shadow, so a lunar eclipse does not occur at every full moon.

Full moons are generally a poor time to conduct astronomical observations, since the bright reflected sunlight from the moon overwhelms the dimmer light from stars.
 

Waning Gibbous Moon
"Waning" means shrinking.
When the the Moon is said to be waning, we see a little less of the Moon each day until it completely disappears when the Moon is New.

Waning Gibbous Moon lunar phase
 

Last Quarter Moon lunar phase
 

Last Quarter Moon

Waning Crescent Moon
 

Waning Crescent Moon lunar phase
 

In the northern hemisphere, if the right side of the Moon is dark, the light part is shrinking: the Moon is waning (moving towards a new Moon). If the left side is dark, the Moon is waxing (moving towards a full Moon). The acronym mnemonic "DOC" represents this ("D" is the waxing Moon; "O" the full moon; and "C" the waning moon). In the Southern hemisphere, this is reversed, and the mnemonic is "COD".

 
  • Blue Moons
    There are also months with two full moons. The second full moon in a month is known as a blue Moon. Because this happens fairly infrequently, it has resulted in the expression "once in a blue moon."
     
  • Months without a full moon
    There are months in which no full moons occur. For example, there was a full moon at 18:25 universal time on Feb. 28, 1991. This means there was no February full moon in east Asia and the Pacific, where it was already March. Years in which February lacked a full moon are 1809, 1847, 1866, 1885, 1915, 1934, 1961, 1999, 2018, 2037, 2067, 2094 (Meeus 1995, Odenwald)

  • Moon rise times
    The New Moon always rises at sunrise.
    The first quarter Moon rises at noon.
    The Full Moon rises at sunset.
    The last quarter Moon rises at midnight.
    Moonrise takes place about 50 minutes later each day than the day before.
     

 

 

 

2. Percent of the Moon's surface illuminated

The percent of the Moon's surface illuminated is a more refined, quantitative description of the Moon's appearance than is the phase. Considering the Moon as a circular disk, the ratio of the area illuminated by direct sunlight to its total area is the fraction of the Moon's surface illuminated; multiplied by 100, it is the percent illuminated. At New Moon the percent illuminated is 0; at First and Last Quarters it is 50%; and at Full Moon it is 100%. During the crescent phases the percent illuminated is between 0 and 50% and during gibbous phases it is between 50% and 100%.

For practical purposes, phases of the Moon and the percent of the Moon illuminated are independent of the location on the Earth from where the Moon is observed. That is, all the phases occur at the same time regardless of the observer's position.

3. Moon phases calendar table for the years 2007 - 2014

Because of time zone differences, the full Moons may occur on different dates in your region.
The time is in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
If your local time zone is currently on Daylight Saving time, please add one hour to the standard times listed below.

Legend of Eclipse Types:
 
T - Total Solar Eclipse
A - Annular Solar Eclipse
H - Hybrid (Annular/Total)
P - Partial Solar Eclipse

t - Total Lunar Eclipse (Umbral)
p - Partial Lunar Eclipse (Umbral)
n - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse 
 

Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2007 Moon Phases dates
2007     Jan  3  13:57 Jan 11  12:45
Jan 19  04:01 Jan 25  23:02 Feb  2  05:45 Feb 10  09:51
Feb 17  16:14 Feb 24  07:56 Mar  3  23:17 t Mar 12  03:54
Mar 19  02:43 P Mar 25  18:16 Apr  2  17:15 Apr 10  18:04
Apr 17  11:36 Apr 24  06:36 May  2  10:09 May 10  04:27
May 16  19:27 May 23  21:03 Jun  1  01:04 Jun  8  11:43
Jun 15  03:13 Jun 22  13:15 Jun 30  13:49 Jul  7  16:54
Jul 14  12:04 Jul 22  06:29 Jul 30  00:48 Aug  5  21:20
Aug 12  23:03 Aug 20  23:54 Aug 28  10:35 t Sep  4  02:33
Sep 11  12:44 P Sep 19  16:48 Sep 26  19:45 Oct  3  10:06
Oct 11  05:01 Oct 19  08:33 Oct 26  04:52 Nov  1  21:18
Nov  9  23:03 Nov 17  22:32 Nov 24  14:30 Dec  1  12:44
Dec  9  17:40 Dec 17  10:17 Dec 24  01:16 Dec 31  07:51
       
Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2008 Moon Phases dates
2008 Jan  8  11:37 Jan 15  19:46 Jan 22  13:35 Jan 30  05:03
Feb  7  03:44 A Feb 14  03:34 Feb 21  03:31 t Feb 29  02:18
Mar  7  17:14 Mar 14  10:46 Mar 21  18:40 Mar 29  21:47
Apr  6  03:55 Apr 12  18:32 Apr 20  10:25 Apr 28  14:12
May  5  12:18 May 12  03:47 May 20  02:11 May 28  02:57
Jun  3  19:23 Jun 10  15:04 Jun 18  17:30 Jun 26  12:10
Jul  3  02:19 Jul 10  04:35 Jul 18  07:59 Jul 25  18:42
Aug  1  10:13 T Aug  8  20:20 Aug 16  21:16 p Aug 23  23:50
Aug 30  19:58 Sep  7  14:04 Sep 15  09:13 Sep 22  05:04
Sep 29  08:12 Oct  7  09:04 Oct 14  20:03 Oct 21  11:55
Oct 28  23:14 Nov  6  04:04 Nov 13  06:17 Nov 19  21:31
Nov 27  16:55 Dec  5  21:26 Dec 12  16:37 Dec 19  10:29
Dec 27  12:23      
       
Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2009 Moon Phases dates
2009   Jan  4  11:56 Jan 11  03:27 Jan 18  02:46
Jan 26  07:55 A Feb  2  23:13 Feb  9  14:49 n Feb 16  21:37
Feb 25  01:35 Mar  4  07:46 Mar 11  02:38 Mar 18  17:47
Mar 26  16:06 Apr  2  14:34 Apr  9  14:56 Apr 17  13:36
Apr 25  03:23 May  1  20:44 May  9  04:01 May 17  07:26
May 24  12:11 May 31  03:22 Jun  7  18:12 Jun 15  22:15
Jun 22  19:35 Jun 29  11:28 Jul  7  09:21 n Jul 15  09:53
Jul 22  02:35 T Jul 28  22:00 Aug  6  00:55 n Aug 13  18:55
Aug 20  10:01 Aug 27  11:42 Sep  4  16:03 Sep 12  02:16
Sep 18  18:44 Sep 26  04:50 Oct  4  06:10 Oct 11  08:56
Oct 18  05:33 Oct 26  00:42 Nov  2  19:14 Nov  9  15:56
Nov 16  19:14 Nov 24  21:39 Dec  2  07:30 Dec  9  00:13
Dec 16  12:02 Dec 24  17:36 Dec 31  19:13 p  
       
Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2010 Moon Phases dates
2010       Jan  7  10:40
Jan 15  07:11 A Jan 23  10:53 Jan 30  06:18 Feb  5  23:49
Feb 14  02:51 Feb 22  00:42 Feb 28  16:38 Mar  7  15:42
Mar 15  21:01 Mar 23  11:00 Mar 30  02:25 Apr  6  09:37
Apr 14  12:29 Apr 21  18:20 Apr 28  12:18 May  6  04:15
May 14  01:04 May 20  23:43 May 27  23:07 Jun  4  22:13
Jun 12  11:15 Jun 19  04:30 Jun 26  11:30 p Jul  4  14:35
Jul 11  19:40 T Jul 18  10:11 Jul 26  01:37 Aug  3  04:59
Aug 10  03:08 Aug 16  18:14 Aug 24  17:05 Sep  1  17:22
Sep  8  10:30 Sep 15  05:50 Sep 23  09:17 Oct  1  03:52
Oct  7  18:44 Oct 14  21:27 Oct 23  01:36 Oct 30  12:46
Nov  6  04:52 Nov 13  16:39 Nov 21  17:27 Nov 28  20:36
Dec  5  17:36 Dec 13  13:59 Dec 21  08:13 t Dec 28  04:18
       
Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2011 Moon Phases dates
2011 Jan 04   09:03 Jan 12     11:31 Jan 19     21:21 Jan 26     12:57
  Feb 3     02:31 Feb 11     07:18 Feb 18    08:36 Feb 24     23:26
Mar 4    20:46 Mar 12    23:45 Mar 19    18:10 Mar 26    12:07
Apr 3    14:32 Apr 11    12:05 Apr 18    02:44 Apr 25    02:47
May 3   06:51 May 10   20:33 May 17   11:09 May 24   18:52
Jun 1    21:03 Jun 9    02:11 Jun 15  20:13 Jun 23   11:48
Jul 1     08:54 Jul 8    06:29 Jul 15   06:40 Jul 23   05:02
Jul 30  18:40   Aug 6    11:08 Aug 13    18:58 Aug 21   21:55
Aug 29  03:04   Sep 4    17:39 Sep 12   09:27 Sep 20   13:39
Sep 27   11:09   Oct 4    03:15 Oct 12    02:06 Oct 20   03:30
Oct 26 19:56   Nov 2   16:38 Nov 10   20:16 Nov 18   15:09
Nov 25  06:10  Dec 2   09:52 Dec 10   14:36 Dec 18   00:48
Dec 24   18:06      
       
Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2012 Moon Phases dates
2012      Jan 1     6:15 Jan 9     7:30 Jan 16      19:08
  Jan 23     07:39 Jan 31     04:10 Feb 7    21:54 Feb 14     17:04
Feb 21    22:35 Mar 11    1:21 Mar 8    09:39 Mar 15    1:25
Mar 22     14:37 Mar 30    19:41 Apr 6    19:19 Apr 13    10:50
Apr 21   07:18 Apr 29   09:57 May 6   03:35 May 12   21:47
May 20    23:47 May 28    20:16 Jun 4  11:12 Jun 11   10:41
Jun 19     15:02 Jun 27    03:30 Jul 3   18:52 Jul 11   01:48
Jul 19  04:24   Jul 26    08:56 Aug 2    03:27 Aug 9   18:55
Aug 17  15:54   Aug 24    13:54 Aug 31   13:58 Sep 8   13:15
Sep 16   02:11   Sep 22    19:41 Sep 30    03:19 Oct 8   07:33
Oct 15 12:02   Oct 22   03:32 Oct 29   19:49 Nov 7   00:36
Nov 13  22:08  Nov 20   14:31 Nov 28   14:46 Dec 6   15:31
Dec 13   08:42 Dec 20   05:19 Dec 28   10:21
       
Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2013 Moon Phases dates
2013                Jan 4     08:58
  Jan 11     12:45 Jan 18     04:45 Jan 26    09:40 Feb 3     06:57
Feb 10    12:22 Feb 17    01:31 Feb 25    01:28 Mar 4    02:54
Mar 11    12:54 Mar 19    10:27 Mar 27    02:30 Apr 2    09:38
Apr 10   02:38 Apr 18   05:32 Apr 25   12:59 May 2   04:16
May 9    05:31 May 17    09:36 May 24  9:27 May 31   12:00
Jun 8     08:59 Jun 16    10:25 Jun 23   04:33 Jun 29   09:55
Jul 8  12:16   Jul 15    08:19 Jul 22    11:16 Jul 29   10:44
Aug 6  02:51   Aug 14    03:57 Aug 20   06:45 Aug 28   02:35
Sep 5   04:36   Sep 12    10:09 Sep 19    04:12 Sep 26   08:56
Oct 4    05:34 Oct 11   04:03 Oct 18   04:37 Oct 18   04:42
Nov 3   05:49 Nov 9   10:58 Nov 17   08:16 Nov 25   12:30
Dec 2   05:22 Dec 9   08:13 Dec 17   02:29 Dec 25   06:50
       
       
Year New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
2014 Moon Phases dates
2014 Jan 1     04:15 Jan 7     20:40 Jan 15    21:53 Jan 23     22:21
Jan 30     14:40 Feb 6    12:22 Feb 14    16:54 Feb 22    10:16
Mar 1    01:02 Mar 8    06:27 Mar 16    10:10 Mar 23    18:47
Mar 30   11:48 Apr 7   01:31 Apr 15   12:45 Apr 22   12:53
Apr 28    23:17 May 6    20:16 May 14  12:18 May 21   06:00
May 28     11:43 Jun 5    13:40 Jun 12   21:13 Jun 19   11:40
Jun 27  01:10   Jul 5    05:00 Jul 12    04:26 Jul 18   19:09
Jul 26  15:42   Aug 3    17:50 Aug 10   11:10 Aug 17   05:27
Aug 25   07:13   Sep 2    04:11 Sep 8    18:32 Sep 15   19:05
Sep 23   23:13 Oct 1   12:33 Oct 8   03:50 Oct 15   12:13
Oct 23   14:56 Oct 30   19:48 Nov 6   15:22 Nov 14   08:17
Nov 22   05:32 Nov 29   03:07 Dec 6   05:27 Dec 14   05:53
Dec 21   18:36 Dec 28   11:32      


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