The moon has been around for 16 days and is currently 98 percent full.
What phase does the Moon now occupy today? You may find out when the next new Moon, first quarter, full Moon, or last quarter is going to occur for each of the 12 months of 2022 with the help of our Moon Phase Calendar. The calendar is tailored based on YOUR zip code. There will be no conversion to your local time by hand! In addition, we provide daily percentages of the Moon’s light as well as the Moon’s current age.
You may view the phases of the Moon for each of the 12 months of 2022, and you can also move backwards or forwards in time to determine the phase of the Moon on any date in the past or the future.
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What Exactly Are Moon Phases, Anyway?
The angle formed by the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth shifts continuously as a result of the Moon’s orbit around Earth and Earth’s orbit around the Sun. As a direct consequence of this, the quantity of sunlight that is refracted by the Moon and reaches our eyes varies from day to day. (The Moon itself is incapable of producing any light on its own.)
The lunar disk goes from being completely dark to completely light and then back to being completely dark: A lunar cycle, lunation, lunar month, or synodic month is the term used to refer to this period of time. Although the duration of the cycle can be off by a few days here and there, on average it lasts about 29.53059 days. (For further information, see the section titled “What Is the Age of the Moon?” below.)
The New Moon, the First Quarter, the Full Moon, and the Last Quarter are the four principal phases of the Moon that astronomers have identified in this cycle. In addition, there are four secondary phases, which are as follows: the Waxing Crescent, the Waxing Gibbous, the Waning Crescent, and the Waning Gibbous. The basic phases always occur at the same instant, regardless of where you are on Earth; this instant is then transformed to the local time wherever you are. (You might or might not be able to observe the precise time when a phase changes depending on where you live, in part because the Moon might not have risen yet in your region when the change occurs.) The secondary phases, on the other hand, do not correspond to a particular instant but rather a period of time.
This phase marks the beginning of a whole new lunar cycle, hence the name given to it. The Sun and the Moon are currently in conjunction, which means that they are on the same side of Earth in the sky and are at their closest distance from one another (Sun > Moon > Earth). Because we are facing the Moon’s shadowed side, which does not get any direct sunlight, the Moon seems to be completely black from our vantage point. This is the primary reason why we are unable to view the Moon in most situations. If, however, we were to travel to the opposite side of the Moon, the side that is confronted by the Sun, we would find that it is completely illuminated.
When the Earth, the Sun, and the new Moon are all in the right places relative to one another, it is possible for the new Moon to cause a solar eclipse by blocking out all or part of the Sun’s disk from our perspective. These occurrences are only visible from a small area of the Earth’s surface, and seeing them safely requires the use of specialized eye protection. (If you want to learn more about solar eclipses, click here!)
The beginning of each month in certain calendars, such as the Chinese lunisolar calendar, is determined by when the Moon is either new or dark.
Crescent that is waxing
This phase of the Moon takes place in the middle of the new Moon and the first quarter phases. At the beginning of this stage, we observe a moon in the shape of a narrow crescent, which, from our perspective in the Northern Hemisphere, is located on the right side. The illuminated region continues to expand daily, illuminating an increasing proportion of the right side of the Moon’s surface until the first quarter phase, at which point the entire right side of the Moon is visible in the sky. (The opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, with the change taking place on the left side.)
In some lunar and lunisolar calendars, such as the Islamic calendar (also known as the Hijri calendar), the beginning of a month is defined as the moment when the Moon first becomes visible. This occurs approximately one day or so after the new Moon, when the Moon is in the waxing crescent stage.
First Quarter Photograph of the moon at the first quarter phase
This phase was given its name due to the fact that at this point in the Moon’s orbit, it has traveled one-fourth of the way around the Earth. The name is somewhat misleading, though, because from where we stand, only one half of the Moon’s surface can now be seen to be illuminated at any given moment. In point of fact, the term “half moon” can refer to either the first or the last quarter phase of the lunar cycle. During the first quarter phase of the Moon’s cycle, the right side of the Moon is illuminated in the Northern Hemisphere, while the left side is illuminated in the Southern Hemisphere. Because the full illuminated surface of the Moon is only partially pointing in our direction, we are only able to see half of the side that is lit up by the Sun. In other words, the Moon is in a position that is perpendicular to the line that connects the Earth and the Sun. When the Moon is in the first quarter phase, it is said to be at east quadrature, which indicates that it is positioned 90 degrees east of the Sun when seen from Earth’s vantage point.
Waxing Gibbous Moon Phase
This phase of the Moon happens between the first quarter and full Moon and describes the Moon when it is more than half lit but not yet fully lit up. This phase comes between the first quarter and full Moon. At the beginning of this stage, as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere, we can see that the right half of the Moon is illuminated, with only a teeny-tiny bit more of that illumination reaching into the left side. As time goes on, the light moves to the left and illuminates an increasing portion of the moon’s surface. This process continues until the moon is in its full phase, at which point the entire disk is illuminated. The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere, where things go from left to right instead of right to left.
Gibbous is derived from a Latin term that means “humpbacked,” which refers to the curving lighted area that may be found on the surface of the Moon.
Because the entire disk can be seen from our vantage point at this phase, we have given it the term “Full Disc Illumination.” The Sun and the Moon are currently in opposition, which means that they are at their greatest distance from one another in the sky and are located on opposite sides of Earth (Sun > Earth > Moon).
A total or partial blockage of the Sun’s rays from reaching the Moon’s surface is what leads to a lunar eclipse when the full Moon happens to be in the same position as the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon when viewed from our vantage point. This occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in perfect alignment. (You can find out more about lunar eclipses on this page!)
Gibbous Moon in Waning Phase
This phase of the Moon’s cycle occurs between the full moon and the last quarter, and it describes the Moon when it is lit up more than half way, but not completely. At the beginning of this stage in the Northern Hemisphere, we see a disk that is almost completely illuminated, with the exception of a very little portion on the right side that is in the dark. After a certain number of days have passed, the moon will have reached its last quarter phase, at which point just the left half of the moon will be lighted and the right side will be in complete darkness. The identical thing takes place in the Southern Hemisphere, with the exception that the light becomes weaker moving from left to right.
This phase was given its name due to the fact that at this point in the Moon’s orbit, it has traveled three quarters of the way around the Earth and only has one more quarter to go until it has completed one revolution. This section is also referred to as the Third Quarter at times. At this point, we can see that approximately half of the surface of the Moon is lit up. The side on the left is the one that is illuminated in the Northern Hemisphere, whilst the side on the right is illuminated in the Southern Hemisphere. When the Moon is in the phase known as the final quarter, it is said to be at west quadrature, which indicates that it is positioned 90 degrees west of the Sun as seen from Earth.
The Crescent of Waning
This phase of the Moon takes place in between the previous quarter and the new Moon phase. At the beginning of this stage, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, the entire left side of the Moon is almost completely illuminated, while the right half remains in complete darkness. Each day, the lighted region gradually decreases in size, covering an ever smaller portion of the Moon’s surface until it resembles a very slender crescent on the left side. At some point in the future, the entire disk will be covered in shadow. When this occurs, the new Moon phase will have arrived, and a new lunar cycle will have started. (The identical thing occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, with the exception that the illuminated region would have begun on the right side and reduced from left to right, until only a thin crescent was left on the right.) The greatest moment to witness this brief phase is just before sunrise, when the Sun’s glare is not yet strong enough to obscure your vision.
How Long Has the Moon Been Around?
The number of days that have passed since the last new Moon is referred to as the “age” of the Moon. This is not a reference to how long the Moon has been in existence, which is approximately 4.5 billion years (if you’re curious). As was discussed earlier, the interval of time that passes between successive new moons is known as a lunar cycle, lunation, lunar month, or synodic month, and it typically lasts for 29.53059 days on average. This equals 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3 seconds in conventional time format.
There is a number of days, such as “18 days,” indicated at the bottom of the grid cell for the majority of the dates in the Moon Phase Calendar that has been shown thus far. This shows us how many days have passed since the last new moon, or, stated another way, how many days we have progressed through the lunar cycle, also known as the age of the Moon. Therefore, the day following the new Moon is day “0” (it is not labeled), the day after that is day 1, and so on until we reach the next new Moon, which occurs after 29 days have passed. This information is also included in the print edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, and can be found in the final column of the left-hand calendar pages on the right side of the page.
There are a few causes that can cause the length of a lunar cycle to fluctuate by more than 13 hours. For instance, shorter lunations occur when the new Moon phase occurs around the same time as perigee, which is the point in the Moon’s elliptical orbit that is the closest to Earth. Longer lunations are the result of the new Moon phase occurring close to the same time as apogee, which is the point in the Moon’s orbit when it is furthest from Earth. This is connected to the fact that the Moon moves around its orbit more quickly when it is at its perigee and more slowly when it is at its apogee.
The relative location of the Earth in relation to perihelion (the point in Earth’s orbit that is closest to the Sun) and aphelion (the point in Earth’s orbit that is farthest from the Sun) also has an effect on the timing of lunation. When the new moon occurs at the same time as apogee does and perihelion does, this results in the longest possible lunation. When the new moon occurs at the same time as perigee and aphelion, the resulting lunation is the shortest possible duration.
One of the lunar cycles that lasted the lowest amount of time was 29 days, 6 hours, and 35 minutes, and one of the lunar cycles that lasted the greatest amount of time lasted 29 days, 19 hours, and 55 minutes.
Note: The term “synodic month” refers to the amount of time it takes for the Moon to complete one revolution around Earth and get back to the same position with respect to both the Sun and Earth. If the Earth were to stop moving around in its orbit and instead remain in the same place, it would take the Moon a shorter amount of time to arrive to the same location: The synodic month is approximately 2.21 days longer than this period of time, which is referred to as the sidereal month. The term “sidereal” refers to something that is “connected to stars,” which in this context refers to the Moon’s location in relation to the stars.
What is Meant by the Term “Percent Illumination”?
The amount of the Moon’s disk that can be seen lit up from Earth is indicated by the “percent illumination” value, which can be seen in the Moon Phase Calendar beneath the image of the Moon. When you look at the calendar on this page, you’ll see that the percentage goes up from new to full, suggesting that the moon is getting closer to its full phase, and that it goes down from full to new, showing that the moon is getting closer to its waning phase. At the time of the New Moon, there is no light at all, as it is completely dark. At the time of the First Quarter, the moon is illuminated approximately fifty percent of the way, at the time of the Full Moon, the moon is illuminated one hundred percent of the way, and at the time of the Last Quarter, the moon is once again illuminated approximately fifty percent of the way (half of the disk is lit).
We say “essentially” for the quarter phases because, technically speaking, at the exact time of the first quarter, a tiny fraction more than half of the Moon is lit, and at the exact time of the last quarter, a tiny fraction less of the Moon is lit. Therefore, we say “essentially” for the quarter phases. When the Moon approaches dichotomy, which happens several minutes before first quarter and several minutes after last quarter, its illumination is exactly equal to that of a half-lit face.
When does the moon start to rise and when does it set?
The following is a list of general guidelines that will assist you in locating the Moon during each of its phases. The times that are indicated are based on solar time, not the time on a clock. The four core phases (denoted by italics) begin and end at the same instant in time, whereas the four secondary phases take place over a more extended period of time.
What exactly is the earth’s glow?
The region of the Moon’s surface that is black and faces us is softly illuminated by sunlight, and this is known as earthshine. It happens when light goes from the Sun to Earth, reflects off of Earth, travels to the Moon, and then bounces back to Earth to reach our eyes. This process is known as the “Sun-Earth-Moon” system. When this occurs, we are able to see a piece of the Moon that isn’t ordinarily lit, although the illumination of this region is significantly less intense than the region that is directly illuminated by sunlight.
For instance, while the Moon is in the waxing crescent phase, we might observe a small crescent that is brilliantly illuminated by direct sunlight, but the rest of the Moon’s disk appears to be dimly illuminated by a glow caused by earthshine. Sometimes people will refer to this phenomenon as the “old Moon in the arms of the new Moon.”
Within five days after a new moon, earthshine is at its brightest and most apparent (during the waning and waxing crescent stages).