- Waxing Crescent (1 day – 7 day)
After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half, so it is waxing crescent.
- Waxing GibbousÂ (7 day – 14 day)
After the first quarter, the sunlit portion is still increasing, but now it is more than half, so it is waxing gibbous.
- Waning Gibbous (14 day – 21 day)
After the full moon (maximum illumination), the light continually decreases. So the waning gibbous phase occurs next.
- WaningÂ Crescent (21 day – 28 day)
Following the third quarter is the waning crescent, which wanes until the light is completely gone – a new moon.
How to remember the phases of the Moon
- New Moon
– Â during a new moon, the moon is completely dark.
– Â the moon is beginning its cycle, like becoming “new.”
– Â these moons are the hardest to see.
– Â you can barely make out the outline of it in the picture on the left.
- Waxing Crescent
– Â whenÂ the moon is waxing, the sunlit part we can see is growing.
– Â during a waxing crescent, we can see only a small section on the right that is shaped like a crescent.
– Â you can remember which is waxing and which is waning because waxing rhymes with relaxing.
– Â the first letter ofrelaxing is R, which starts the wordÂ right, the lit up side.
- First Quarter
– Â when the moon is at its first quarter, the right half is lit up.
– Â this phase is between the waxing crescent and waxing gibbous.
– Â it is called the first quarter because it is a quarter of the way through the moon phase cycle.
- Waxing Gibbous
– Â duringÂ a waxing gibbous, thereÂ is only a small part on the left that we canâ€™t see.
– Â Â the relaxing trick will work here too to help remember which is waxing and which is waning.
- Full Moon
– Â during a full moon, the bright part is fully lit.
– Â the full moon is the halfway mark for the moon’s cycle.
- Waning Gibbous
– Â waning gibbous is the opposite of a waxing gibbous.
– Â only a small piece on the right we can’t see.
- Last Quarter
– Â during the last quarter, theÂ left half is lit up.Â Sometimes thisÂ is also called the third quarter.
– Â the last quarter moon phase is between the waning crescent and the waning gibbous.
- Waning Crescent
– Â during a waning crescent, we can only see a small piece on the leftÂ that is lit up.
– Â after this phase is complete, the moon’s cycle will start over again with the new moon.
- Old Moon
– Â once is the cycle is complete, it starts over again – the phases of the Moon repeat about every once 27 days.
– Â unlikely that there are twice full moons in one month. Â When it occurs twice full moons in one month, it is called a Blue Moon.
Back to TheÂ MoonÂ page.