How to Tell If the Moon Is Waxing or Waning

The moon is incredibly important to us, some theories are based on the fact that life would not have appeared on our planet without it. It stabilizes the climate and is responsible for tides. Even the calendar used to be based on the phases of the moon, because a month is approximately equal to the time it takes from one full moon to the next one.

5-Minute Crafts prepared a few simple tricks for how to figure out the moon phase. However, keep in mind that these tricks can’t give you a 100% guarantee when it comes to results.

The moon phases

It takes 29.5 days for the moon to orbit the Earth. The moon doesn’t emit its own glow and is visible to us only because the sunlight is reflected from its surface. At the same time, the moon reflects only from 3 to 12% of the sunlight that hits it. The moon’s motion and the rotation of the Earth around the sun explain the following phases:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent
  • First quarter
  • Waxing gibbous
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous
  • Last quarter
  • Waning crescent

Understanding the moon phases in the Northern Hemisphere

In the Northern Hemisphere, the moon waxes and wanes from left to right. This means that the waxing moon will be illuminated on the right side, and the waning moon will be illuminated on the left side, because the sunlight will illuminate different parts of the moon, depending on its position.

How to tell the moon phase at this moment

Use letters D and C to tell the current moon phase:

  • If the moon looks like a D in its first quarter, it means that it’s waxing. If it’s a C, then the moon is in its last quarter and waning.
Share This Article