What are the phases of the moon and what do they look like?

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I am a tutor helping a 6th grader study for the ITBS and need to know the phases of the moon and what they look like.

May 24th, 2015

There are 8 phases that the moon goes through.

  • new moon is when the Moon cannot be seen because we are looking at the unlit half of the Moon. The new moonphase occurs when the Moon is directly between the Earth and Sun.
  • waxing crescent moon is when the Moon looks like crescent and the crescent increases ("waxes") in size from one day to the next.
  • The first quarter moon (or a half moon) is when half of the lit portion of the Moon is visible after the waxing crescentphase.
  • waxing gibbous moon occurs when more than half of the lit portion of the Moon can be seen and the shape increases ("waxes") in size from one day to the next. The waxing gibbous phase occurs between the first quarter and full moon phases.
  • full moon is when can see the entire lit portion of the Moon. The full moon phase occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.
  • waning gibbous moon occurs when more than half of the lit portion of the Moon can be seen and the shape decreases ("wanes") in size from one day to the next. The waning gibbous phase occurs between the full moon and third quarter phases.
  • The last quarter moon (or a half moon) is when half of the lit portion of the Moon is visible after the waning gibbous phase.
  • waning crescent moon is when the Moon looks like the crescent and the crescent decreases ("wanes") in size from one day to the next.
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May 24th, 2015

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