If the rays of the setting or rising sun hit the moon just right, the moon appears to turn red or ruddy-brown. This is called a blood moon.
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 Tuesday (May 11) at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT). Here's what you can see in the dark, moonless sky.
The last quarter moon will shine like a big, cheesy taco in the sky tonight (May 4), and Taco Bell is celebrating the lunar phase by giving away free tacos.
April's full moon, called the "Super Pink Moon," wowed skywatchers on Monday (April 26) as it shone brightly in the night sky.
If you have a clear sky tonight, look up! Today’s full moon will be bigger and brighter than usual as the Earth’s companion makes a close approach to the planet during its full moon phase.
The full moon of April, called the Pink Moon, occurs Monday, April 26 at 11:32 p.m. EDT (0332 GMT on Tuesday, April 27). It will also be a "supermoon."
Palm Sunday, March 28 brings us the first full moon of the new spring season: the Paschal full moon.
The full moon of March, called the Worm Moon, will occur on Sunday (March 28), two days before the moon reaches perigee, its closest point to Earth.
The full moon of February, called the Snow Moon, occurs Saturday, Feb. 27, 3:17 a.m. EST (0817 GMT).
Mars may not be ready to escape the spotlight just yet, even after receiving its third Earthly mission this month.
Here is a list of common full moon names, dates and times in 2021, beginning with the "Wolf Moon" in January, to the "Cold Moon" in December.
The full moon of January, called the Wolf Moon, will occur on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 2:16 p.m. EST (1916 GMT)
People go to bed later and sleep fewer hours the night before a full moon, and menstrual cycles seem to temporarily synchronize with moon cycles, scientists have found in two new studies.
The full moon of December, called the Full Cold Moon, will arrive on Dec. 29 and there are plenty of planets to see with it.
Early on Monday morning (Nov. 30), careful skywatchers across all of North America can watch the full moon undergo a slight penumbral eclipse.
November's full moon on Nov. 30 will undergo a penumbral lunar eclipse, two days after reaching aphelion, when the moon is farthest from Earth.
Here's an observer's guide to the second full moon of October and the other sky sights you can see around it.