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Phases of the Moon. New 0% Illuminated Waxing Crescent 25% Illuminated on RHS First Quarter 50% Illuminated on RHS Waxing Gibbous 75% Illuminated on RHS Full 100% Illuminated Waning Gibbous 75% Illuminated on LHS Third (Last) Quarter 50% Illuminated on LHS

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phases of the moon

Phases of the Moon

New 0% Illuminated

Waxing Crescent 25% Illuminated on RHS

First Quarter 50% Illuminated on RHS

Waxing Gibbous 75% Illuminated on RHS

Full 100% Illuminated

Waning Gibbous 75% Illuminated on LHS

Third (Last) Quarter 50% Illuminated on LHS

Waning Crescent 25% Illuminated on LHS

rising meridian setting times
Rising/Meridian/Setting Times

*Assuming the moon is always on the celestial equator and above the horizon 12 hours per day.

lunar periods
Lunar Periods
  • Sidereal Period – 27.3 days
    • The time between successive alignments of the earth, moon, and a star
    • The true orbital period of the moon
  • Synodic Period – 29.5 days
    • The time between successive alignments of the earth, moon, and the sun
    • The period of the cycle of lunar phases
lunar eclipses
Lunar Eclipses
  • Total Lunar Eclipse
    • The moon is entirely inside the earth’s umbra
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse
    • The moon is partially inside the earth’s umbra
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
    • The moon is inside the Earth’s penumbra
    • These happen regularly and no one notices. The brightness of the moon only decreases by 10% to 20%
solar eclipses
Solar Eclipses
  • Total Solar Eclipse
    • The moon completely obscures the sun for an observer at this location on the Earth
  • Partial Solar Eclipse
    • The moon partially obscures the sun for an observer at this location on the Earth
  • Annular Solar Eclipse
    • The moon is near apogee and its angular diameter is insufficient to completely cover the sun. An observer for whom the moon and sun are aligned will see a ring of the sun around the moon
tides
Tides

- caused by differential gravitational forces exerted by the moon (the moon pulls more on one side of the earth than the other)

  • Even though the sun’s gravitational force is much larger than the moon’s, its differential force is smaller (since the size of the earth is small compared to the earth-sun distance)
  • This moon’s differential force causes “water bulges” on the earth on both sides of the line to the moon. Tides are caused by the Earth’s rotation carrying observers through a water bulge. Thus, typically high tide occurs twice a day.
    • Neap Tides – weak tides which occur when the moon’s and sun’s pull are perpendicular
    • Spring Tides – strong tides when the moon and sun are aligned.
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