What is the moon phase today? Lunar phases 2023

The moon phases of January 2023 with dates.
The moon phases of January 2023 with dates. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Today, Jan. 30, 2023, the moon is 9 days old and is currently in the waxing gibbous phase of its lunar cycle. It is 68% illuminated. In January 2023, the moon's phases occur on these days:

  • Full Moon: Jan. 6
  • Last Quarter: Jan. 14
  • New Moon: Jan. 21
  • First quarter: Jan. 28
Top telescope pick!

Celestron Astro Fi 102

(Image credit: Celestron)

Looking for a telescope for the moon? We recommend the Celestron Astro Fi 102 (opens in new tab) as the top pick in our best beginner's telescope guide

Moon phases reveal the passage of time in the night sky. 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 of the moon occur about a week apart, with the full moon its most dazzling stage.

Tariq Malik
Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001. He covers skywatching, human spaceflight, exploration as well as space science and entertainment, and enjoys observing the moon through a tabletop Celestron telescope when the weather is clear.

What's the moon phase tonight?

While the moon has four distinct phases each month, it is always changing. 

As you observe the moon during the month, watch as it grows from a new moon to a first quarter moon. As it grows, it is known as a waxing moon, and gradually increases from a waxing "crescent" (for its shape into the first quarter moon. As it continues to brighten, it takes on an oblong, or "gibbous," shape until it reaches the full moon stage. 

Then it will repeat the steps in reverse as it heads back to a new moon. You can see what today's moon phase is here with the embedded widget on this page, courtesy of In-The-Sky.org (opens in new tab)

What is the next moon phase?

A full moon rises over the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.  (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls )
(opens in new tab)

After the new moon on Jan. 21, the next moon phase milestone will be the First Quarter Moon on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 10:19 a.m. EST (1519 GMT).

The First Quarter Moon, also known as the first half moon of the month because the moon appears half-illuminated as seen from Earth, marks the time when the moon is a quarter of its way through its lunar cycle and journey around the Earth.

"People may casually call this a half moon, but remember, that's not really what you’re witnessing in the sky," NASA wrote in a statement (opens in new tab). "You’re seeing just a slice of the entire moon ― half of the illuminated half."

The First Quarter moon rises around noon and sets at about midnight, according to NASA. That means it will appear high in the sky in the evening, making it an excellent time for lunar viewing, the agency added.

Moon phase calendar for 2023

Here are the moon phases for 2023, according to NASA's SKYCAL (opens in new tab). Times and dates are in UTC time. If you need equipment for viewing the moon, check out our guide to the best telescopes and the best telescopes for kids.

You can also check out our guide on how to photograph the moon, as well as how to photograph a lunar eclipse for major moon events. There's even a guide on how to photograph a solar eclipse

If you're looking for imaging gear, our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography guides can help prepare you for the next lunar sight.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Phases of the moon 2022 with dates (Eastern Time)
New MoonFirst QuarterFull MoonLast Quarter
----Jan. 6, 6:08 p.m. Jan. 14, 9:10 p.m.
Jan. 21, 3:53 p.m.Jan. 28, 10:19 a.m.Feb. 5, 1:29 p.m.Feb. 13, 11:01 a.m.
Feb. 20, 2:06 a.m. Feb. 27, 3:06 a.m.March 7, 7:40 am ETMarch 14, 10:08 p.m.
March 21, 1:23 p.m. March 28, 10:32 p.m. April 6, 12:34 a.m. April 13, 5:11 a.m.
April 20, 12:12 a.m.April 27, 5:20 p.m.May 5, 1:34 p.m. .May 12, 10:28 a.m.
May 19, 11:53 a.m. May 27, 11:22 a.m.June 3, 11:42 p.m.June 10, 3:31 p.m.
June 18, 12:37 a.m.June 26, 3:50 a.m.July 3, 7:39 a.m. July 9, 9:48 p.m.
July 17, 2:32 p.m.July 25, 6:07 p.m.Aug. 1, 2:31 p.m.Aug. 8, 6:28 a.m.
Aug. 16, 5:38 a.m.Aug. 24, 5:57 a.m.Aug. 30, 9:35 p.m.Sept. 6, 6:21 p.m.
Sept. 14, 9:40 p.m.Sept. 22, 3:32 p.m.Sept. 29, 5:57 a.m.Oct. 6, 9:48 a.m.
Oct. 14, 1:55 p.m.Oct. 21, 11:29 p.m.Oct. 28, 4:24 p.m.Nov. 5, 3:37 a.m.
Nov. 13, 4:27 a.m.Nov. 20, 5:50 a.m.Nov. 27, 4:16 a.m.Dec. 5, 12:49 a.m.
Dec. 12, 6:32 a.m.Dec. 19, 1:39 p.m.Dec. 26, 7:33 p.m.

Phases of the moon

This NASA graphic shows the phases of the moon and the orientation of the moon, Earth and sun during each phase. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Bill Dunford)
(opens in new tab)

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. Moon 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 credit: 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

Additional moon phase resources

NASA's SkyCal Events Calendar (opens in new tab) offers a comprehensive calendar of moon phases, lunar and solar eclipses and more for the entire calendar year. You can see more about the full moons of 2023, in Space.com's Full Moon Calendar. Our night sky guide has a list of events for skywatching this month. 


SkyCal - SkyEvents Calendar, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center

What's Up - Skywatching Tips from NASA

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award (opens in new tab) for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast (opens in new tab) with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network (opens in new tab). To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik (opens in new tab).