Q:

How do you find the stages of the moon?

A:

Quick Answer

The easiest way to find the stages of the moon is to use a moon phase calendar, such as the one available at MoonConnection.com. When a visitor inputs a month and year and selects the northern or southern hemisphere, a calendar showing pictures of the moon's phases appears.

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How do you find the stages of the moon?
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Full Answer

The calendar at MoonConnection.com uses the time zone in which the visitor's computer is located for a more accurate result. Since the moon's phases change as it orbits around the Earth, and each time zone covers several hundred miles, the moon picture on the calendar may not exactly match the moon's appearance in your area. This is particularly true if you live at the extreme eastern or western ends of the time zone.

The moon's phases are caused by the amount of the moon's surface that reflects sunlight as it rotates around the Earth, which takes 29.5 days. A full moon is observed when the sun, Earth and moon are perfectly aligned, and the entire surface of the moon is illuminated by the sun. A new moon is the exact opposite, occurring when the moon is between the Earth and the sun. During this phase, the moon only receives reflected sunlight from the Earth.

It takes roughly 14 days for a new moon to change to a full moon. In between are the crescent moon, the first-quarter moon and the gibbous moon. After the full moon peaks, it takes another 14 days to wane back to the new moon.

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