Observing the Moon

Observing the Moon - Observing the Moon The moon's phases...

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Observing the Moon The moon's phases are caused because as the moon orbits the earth, we can only see part of the half of the moon that the sun lights up. A new moon is approximately between the earth and the sun, and hence invisible. A crescent moon is one to three days before or after new. A first quarter moon is about 90° from the sun, and is high in the sky at sunset. A full moon is opposite the sun in the sky, rising at sunset and setting at sunrise. A gibbous moon is one to three days before or after full, when the moon looks nearly circular. A last quarter moon is also about 90° from the sun, but it rises at midnight and is high in the sky at dawn. The crescent moon correctly indicates about 4 a.m. The bright part of the moon is always lit by the sun, so draw it that way in pictures. For example, a crescent moon in a dark sky must be tipped to where the sun would be below the horizon. The moon rises about 50 minutes later every night, and it moves 13° westward through the stars
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Observing the Moon - Observing the Moon The moon's phases...

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