Moon Phase Of Moon Essay

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The lunar phase or phase of the moon is the shape of the illuminated (sunlit) portion of the Moon as seen by an observer on Earth. The lunar phases change cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth. The Moon 's rotation is tidally locked by the Earth 's gravity, therefore the same lunar surface always faces Earth. This face is variously sunlit depending on the position of the Moon in its orbit. Therefore, the portion of this hemisphere that is visible to an observer on Earth can vary from about 100% (full moon) to 0% (new moon). The lunar terminator is the boundary between the illuminated and darkened hemispheres. Each of the four "intermediate" lunar phases (see below) is roughly seven days (~7.4 days) but this varies slightly due to the elliptical shape of the Moon 's orbit. Aside from some craters near the lunar poles such as Shoemaker, all parts of the Moon see around 14.77 days of sunlight, followed by 14.77 days of "night". (The side of the Moon facing away from the Earth is sometimes called the "dark side", which is a misnomer).When the Sun and Moon are aligned on the same side of the Earth, the moon is "new", and the side of the Moon facing Earth is not illuminated by the Sun. As the moon waxes (the amount of illuminated surface as seen from Earth is increasing),…show more content…
The terms "old moon" and "new moon" are not interchangeable. The "old moon" is a waning sliver (which eventually becomes undetectable to the naked eye) until the moment it aligns with the sun and begins to wax, at which point it becomes new again. Half moon is often used to mean the first- and third-quarter moons, while the term. When a sphere is illuminated on one hemisphere and viewed from a different angle, the portion of the illuminated area that is visible will have a two-dimensional shape defined by the intersection of an ellipse and circle (where the major axis of the ellipse coincides with a diameter of the

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