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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
The new moon occurs on Sunday, Nov. 15, just two days before the Leonid meteor shower reaches its peak.
Here's an observer's guide to the second full moon of October and the other sky sights you can see around it.
October has already seen a Harvest Moon, now this week comes a "proxigean" new moon, and to finish out this month we'll have a "Halloween Micro Blue Moon." We'll explain.
Friday night is date night for two bright celestial meetups that will light up the sky tonight (Oct. 2 - Oct. 3).
The full moon of October 2020 also carries the title of the Harvest Moon for those living in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Corn Moon will be full on the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 1:22 p.m. EDT (1722 GMT), four days before the moon occults Mars.
You can see the moon's famous Copernicus crater along the lunar terminator — the line lunar between day and night — on Thursday (Aug. 27).
Tuesday's sky (Aug. 18) is host to a somewhat unusual lunar event in the Western Hemisphere: a third new moon in a season of four new moons, which some people call a "Black Moon."
The full moon of August arrives on tonight (Aug. 3), after the moon makes a close pass to Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky.
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 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.