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The moon's phases are caused by changes in the amount of illumination from the moon that is visible from the Earth's surface as the moon orbits our planet each month. There are eight distinct phases every month, four of them occurring roughly a week apart. They are: the New Moon; Waxng Crescent; First Quarter (or half-full; Waxing Gibbous; Full Moon; Waning Gibbous; Last Quarter (half-full on other side); Waning Crescent. You can read definitions for these moon phases here. When the moon is full and at its closest point to the Earth in it's orbit, it is known as a "Supermoon." Lunar eclipses occur during full moons, when the moon passes through all or part of Earth's shadow. During New Moons, the moon can cover part or all of the sun's disk, creating a solar eclipse. Learn more about the moon's phases here.
Related Topics: The Moon
Some skywatchers may have seen more than mere fireworks in the night sky during their Fourth of July celebrations on Saturday: the full moon.
The minor Independence Day eclipse will be difficult to spot and observers shouldn't expect mind-blowing views of the moon in Earth's shadow..
The Full Buck moon of July 2020 will experience a minor penumbral lunar eclipse this weekend (July 4 and 5), but don't expect much.
The July full moon, also known as the Buck Moon or Thunder Moon, occurs just after midnight on Sunday (July 5), with the moon reaching full phase at 12:44 a.m. EDT (0444 GMT)
The new moon on Sunday (June 21) brings an annular solar eclipse to Africa, Asia and the Pacific, just two days after the waning crescent makes a close pass to Venus and a day after the solstice.
The last-quarter moon will make a close approach to the Red Planet in the predawn sky on Saturday (June 13), providing a celestial treat for early birds and night owls.
Photographers around the world captured stunning images of the recent Full Strawberry Moon eclipse, showing the subtle darkening as the moon barely grazed the shadow of the Earth.
During June and early July, it is eclipse season once again. In the coming weeks, there will be three eclipses that take place: one of the sun and two of the moon.
The full moon of June, also called the Strawberry Moon, will occur June 5 at 3:12 p.m. EDT (1912 GMT). That same day, a penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Space.com readers not only enjoyed the spectacle but snapped some truly incredible photos of the full moon.
May's full moon, also known as the "Flower Moon," dazzled skywatchers on Thursday (May 7) as it lit up the springtime sky.
Photographer Andrew McCarthy photographed the demarcation between the moon's light and dark sides for two weeks to create this unbelievably crisp image of our satellite's Earth-side craters.
The full moon of May, also called the Flower Moon, arrives on Thursday (May 7). It will be the third and final "supermoon" of 2020.
Tonight (April 7), the moon will be at its brightest and largest for the whole year during the "Super Pink Moon."
As much as I (an avid lover of all things pink) would love for the "Super Pink Moon," which comes out tonight (April 7) to actually be pink, it won't be.