2019 Moon Phases Calendar

Some nights when we look up at the moon, it is full and bright; sometimes it is just a sliver of silvery light. These changes in appearance are the phases of the moon. As the moon orbits Earth, it cycles through eight distinct phases. The four primary phases occur about a week apart.

Moon phases for February 2019.
(Image: © NASA)

Lunar calendar for 2019

Here are the dates of the moon's phases for 2019, according to NASA. Times and dates are in Eastern U.S. time.

Jan 520:28Jan 141:46Jan 210:16Jan 2716:11
Feb 416:04Feb 1217:26Feb 1910:53Feb 266:28
Mar 611:04Mar 146:27Mar 2021:43Mar 280:10
Apr 54:50Apr 1215:06Apr 197:12Apr 2618:18
May 418:45May 1121:12May 1817:11May 2612:33
Jun 36:02Jun 101:59Jun 174:31Jun 255:46
Jul 215:16Jul 96:55Jul 1617:38Jul 2421:18
Jul 3123:12Aug 713:31Aug 158:29Aug 2310:56
Aug 306:37Sep 523:10Sep 1400:33Sep 2122:41
Sep 2814:26Oct 512:47Oct 1317:08Oct 218:39
Oct 2722:38Nov 45:23Nov 128:34Nov 1916:11
Nov 2610:06Dec 41:58Dec 1200:12Dec 1823:57
Dec 2600:13      

Phases of the moon

The moon, like Earth, is a sphere, and it is always half-illuminated by the sun. As the moon travels around Earth, we see more or less of the illuminated half. The moon's phases describe how much of the moon's disk is illuminated from our perspective.

New moon: The moon is between Earth and the sun, and the side of the moon facing toward us receives no direct sunlight; it is lit only by dim sunlight reflected from Earth.

Waxing crescent: As the moon moves around Earth, the side we can see gradually becomes more illuminated by direct sunlight.

First quarter: The moon is 90 degrees away from the sun in the sky and is half-illuminated from our point of view. We call it "first quarter" because the moon has traveled about a quarter of the way around Earth since the new moon.

See the moon phases, and the difference between a waxing and waning crescent or gibbous moon, in this Space.com infographic about the lunar cycle each month. See the full infographic.
(Image: © Karl Tate, SPACE.com)

Waxing gibbous: The area of illumination continues to increase. More than half of the moon's face appears to be getting sunlight.

Full moon: The moon is 180 degrees away from the sun and is as close as it can be to being fully illuminated by the sun from our perspective. The sun, Earth and the moon are aligned, but because the moon’s orbit is not exactly in the same plane as Earth’s orbit around the sun, they rarely form a perfect line. When they do, we have a lunar eclipse as Earth's shadow crosses the moon's face.

Waning gibbous: More than half of the moon's face appears to be getting sunlight, but the amount is decreasing.

Last quarter: The moon has moved another quarter of the way around Earth, to the third quarter position. The sun's light is now shining on the other half of the visible face of the moon.

Waning crescent: Less than half of the moon's face appears to be getting sunlight, and the amount is decreasing.

Finally, the moon is back to its new moon starting position. Now, the moon is between Earth and the sun. Usually the moon passes above or below the sun from our vantage point, but occasionally it passes right in front of the sun, and we get a solar eclipse. [Infographic: How Moon Phases Work]

Additional resources

Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community@space.com.