Have you ever noticed that the moon appears to change shape each night?
On some nights, the moon’s shape may appear as a narrow crescent. On other nights, the moon may appear as a bright circle. On some nights, you may be unable to see the moon at all. The moon’s phases are the various shapes that we see at different times of the month.
The only thing in our solar system that gives off light is the sun. The angle between the Sun, Moon, and Earth changes as the Moon orbits the Earth and the Earth orbits the Sun. Because of this, the amount of sunlight that hits the moon and gets to our eyes changes every day. There are eight stages to these changes, and each one happens once every synodic month.
What are the Different Types of Moon Phases?
Let’s look at the individual phases of the moon and how the moon and sun’s movements appear to us from Earth:
1. New Moon:
In astronomy, a “new moon” is the beginning of the first phase of the moon. Many people think that this phase means a fresh start. The Sun and Moon are on the same side of Earth and are closest to each other in the sky. From where we are, this phase of the moon looks completely dark. We can’t see it because we are looking at the side of the moon that doesn’t get direct sunlight. If the new moon is in the right place between the sun and earth, it will sometimes cover all or part of the sun’s disk, causing a solar eclipse.
2. Waxing Crescent Moon:
The second phase of the moon is called the “waxing crescent.” Waxing means that something is getting bigger over time. During the waxing crescent phase, the moon moves toward the east in the sky. The waxing crescent phase of the moon is when we can just see a tiny bit of the moon after a new moon. Because of “earthshine,” which happens when the Earth reflects sunlight onto the moon, you may be able to see the rest of the moon even when it is dark.
3. First Quarter Moon:
The first quarter is the next phase of the moon in the lunar cycle. It usually lasts three nights. It is during this phase that you can see half of the moon illuminated. This moon phase got its name because the moon has travelled 1/4 of the way through its orbit at this point. In the Northern Hemisphere, the right side of the moon is illuminated at the first quarter; in the Southern Hemisphere, the left side is illuminated. The first quarter moon starts showing up at noon and sets at midnight. In the evening, it is high in the sky and provides excellent viewing.
4. Waxing Gibbous Moon:
During the waxing gibbous moon phase, the part of the moon that is lit up goes from 50.1% to 99.9%. This phase lasts from the first quarter of the moon until the full moon.
“Waxing” means that the Moon is getting bigger, while “Gibbous” comes from the Latin word for “humpbacked,” which describes the Moon’s curved lit area. The moon will get brighter and brighter until it is fully lit up. When that happens, the next moon phase will start. During this moon phase, the right half is lit in the Northern Hemisphere and the left half is lit in the Southern Hemisphere.
5. Full Moon:
A full moon occurs when the moon appears in the sky as a complete circle. With the moon waxing over time, we eventually arrive at the “full moon” about two weeks after the new moon. This is the moon at its most spectacular, with its entire daylight side visible from Earth. During this phase of the cycle, the full moon rises almost at the same time as the sun sets. The Sun and Moon are in opposition at this time, which means they are the furthest apart in the sky and on opposite sides of Earth.
6. Waning Gibbous Moon:
The Waning The Gibbous Moon is a transitory moon phase that begins right after the Full Moon and lasts until the Third Quarter. In this phase, the illuminated portion of the moon decreases from 99.9% to 50.1%. Waning refers to shrinking and becoming smaller, whereas gibbous refers to the oval-to-round shape. The part of the moon in the shadow will be on the left when the moon is waxing in the northern hemisphere. The situation is the opposite of this in the Southern Hemisphere.
7. Third Quarter Moon:
The Third Quarter, also known as the Half Moon, is the seventh phase of the lunar cycle. This phase was named after the Moon had travelled 3/4 and had only one more quarter to complete one revolution. At this point, we can see half of the Moon’s surface illuminated. The left side is illuminated in the Northern Hemisphere, while the right side is illuminated in the Southern Hemisphere. This Moon phase occurs only once a month, rising around noon and setting around midnight.
8. Waning Crescent Moon:
The waning crescent The moon’s phase is the lunar month’s final phase. It occurs before the New Moon and immediately following the Third Quarter. The moon’s illumination decreases from 49.9% to 0.1%. During this phase, the area illuminated on the moon’s surface is in the shape of a crescent, and the amount of sunlight reflecting off the moon is decreasing. Waning means decreasing, which is why this moon phase is known as the Waning Crescent. This moon phase occurs once a month and remains for 7.38 days.
Different Color Moons this Year 2023:
Different cultures have given different names to full moons throughout the lunar calendar over time. To track the months and seasons, ancient cultures gave the Full Moon names like Flower Moon and Harvest Moon. These names are still in common among the people.
1. January (Wolf Moon):
The full moon in January is named Wolf Moon after the howling of hungry wolves lamenting the scarcity of food in the dead of winter. This name is thought to have Celtic and Old English origins. When observed close to the horizon, the full moon appears orange. As the moon rises higher in the sky, it turns from a beautiful muted orange to a lighter, slightly brighter yellow.
2. February (Snow Moon):
The Snow Moon in February is appropriately named after the heavy snowfall in North America. Because of the scarcity of food and difficult hunting conditions in midwinter, some North American tribes called it the Hunger Moon, while others referred to it as the Storm Moon. The snow moon is rich in spiritual revelation and purpose. It represents spiritual renewal. According to NASA, the full moon in February also coincides with the important Buddhist festival Magha Puja, which commemorates a historical gathering of Buddha and his first 1,250 disciples.
3. March (Worm Moon):
The Worm Moon is named after the earthworms that emerge when the soil warms up at the end of the winter season in March. Other names for the moon include the “chaste moon,” “death moon,” “crust moon,” and “sap moon,” which refers to the tapping of maple trees. The Anglo-Saxons named it the Lenten Moon after the Germanic word for spring, Lenten. The spiritual significance of the worm moon is a reminder of how change can occur beneath the surface even when it is not visible or recognized.
4. April (Pink Moon):
The Full Pink Moon in April is named after the pink phlox wildflowers that bloom in North America in the early spring. Native Americans also called spring thaws and the return of growth the Breaking Ice Moon and The Moon of the Red Grass Appearing. The April full moon is also known as the Paschal moon, which is used to determine the date of Easter. The pink moon represents newness, freshness, and letting go of things that are no longer serving you.
5. May (Flower Moon):
The May full moon is known as the “flower moon” because it represents all of the flowers that bloom during May. The last frost has passed, and soil that was previously hard and cold is now brimming with life and possibilities. Other names for the moon include the hare moon, the corn planting moon, and the milk moon. May moon represents both fertility and healing. The “flower moon” in 2022 brought with it a lunar eclipse and a so-called “blood moon.”
6. June (Strawberry Moon):
The full moon in June is named after the wild strawberries that ripen this month and can be collected by Native American tribes. Berries Ripen Moon, Green Corn Moon, and Hot Moon are some of the other native names for this moon. According to the astrologer, the strawberry moon creates space for good fortune, love, and prosperity, making it the ideal time to manifest your deepest desires. This Strawberry Moon is a special treat because it is a supermoon, appearing larger and brighter than a regular full moon.
7. July (Buck Moon):
The full moon in July is known as Buck Moon because male deer shed their antlers each year and begin to regrow them in July. Other Native American tribes have names for it, including Salmon Moon and Raspberry Moon. Because of the summer storms in this month, some people refer to this moon as the thunder moon. The fullness of the buck’s antlers can be interpreted spiritually as a metaphor for realizing your full potential.
8. August (Sturgeon Moon):
The Algonquin tribes of North America gave this name to the August full moon. Because the number of fish species increased during this month, North American fishing tribes named it “sturgeon moon.”It’s also known as the grain moon and the red moon because of the reddish hue it takes on during the summer haze. The sturgeon moon in August is a good time to take a step back and appreciate everything. The Sturgeon supermoon was the year’s third and final supermoon. The Sturgeon Moon reached its pinnacle on August 12, 2022.
9. September (Full Corn Moon):
The full moon in September is called a “full corn moon” because crops are harvested at the end of the summer season during this time of the year. During this time of year, the moon illuminates brightly and rises early, allowing farmers to continue harvesting until late in the night. The September full moon is usually the “Harvest Moon,” which is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. The harvest moon appears in September two years out of three, but in some years it does not.
10. October (Hunter’s Moon):
People in the Northern Hemisphere traditionally spent October preparing for the coming winter by hunting, slaughtering, and preserving meats, hence the Anglo-Saxon name “Hunter’s Moon.” Every three years, Hunter’s Moon becomes the Harvest Moon. The hunter’s moon is particularly bright and big in the sky, allowing hunters to stalk prey at night. Other names for the hunter’s moon include the travelling moon and the dying grass moon. The Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded special honour owing to the looming threat of winter.
11. November (Beaver Moon):
The November Full Moon is named after beavers, who show increased activity at this time of year to prepare for the winter. Some Native American tribes refer to the Beaver Moon as the Frost Moon, after the arrival of the first frosts at the end of autumn. The spiritual significance of the beaver moon in 2022, which is an eclipse, represents collective soul karma and soul destiny, as indicated by the points in the sky where the sun and moon paths intersect.
12. December (Cold Moon):
The arrival of winter earned the full moon in December the name “cold moon.” The Long Night’s Moon is an apt name, not only because December nights are long but also because the midwinter full moon has a high trajectory across the sky, allowing it to stay above the horizon for a longer period. The Cold Moon’s spiritual meaning is about finding ways to stay warm even during the coldest of storms.
A new moon is formed when sunlight strikes the moon’s far side, whereas a full moon occurs when sunlight reflects from the near side. For the rest of the month, we see portions of the moon’s daytime side or phases. Since ancient times, the full moon has been used to track the change of months and seasons. The article provides full information about the various phases of the moon and the full moon phase through various months.