Moon Phases: Simulation Activity

Waxing Crescent

Light from the right; this is the first of the 8 benchmark phases as the moon becomes visible

First Quarter Moon

As the moon becomes more visible, now you see 1/2 of the lit 1/2. This is the second benchmark

Waxing Gibbous

As more of the lit 1/2 becomes visible, it seems to swell. The word 'gibbous' means 'humpbacked' helping us keep track!

Full Moon!

We are now able to see the entire lit 1/2 of the moon!

Waning Gibbous

Waning means shrinking - this is the stage where you sort of think it looks full at first - but NO! The shrinking starts from the right side. Light on the left

Waning Gibbous II

As the moon continues its revolution, we see less and less. This is still not to the third quarter though

Third Quarter Moon

By the time approximately 21 days have passed, we now see 1/2 of the lit 1/2 again. This time the light is on the left side though

Waning Crescent

During these 7 days, the light on the left gets smaller and smaller until we no longer see it again.

Approximately 7 days

The amount of time the moon spends in each of the crescent and gibbous stages

Day and Night

Are caused by the rotation of the earth on its axis

During a waxing crescent phase, the moon...

Appears to follow the sun across the sky. It is approaching the FIRST QUARTER benchmark

During a waning crescent phase, the moon...

Appears to lead the sun across the sky. It is approaching the NEW MOON benchmark.

During a waxing gibbous phase, the moon...

Appears to follow the sun across the sky. It is approaching the FULL MOON benchmark

During a waning gibbous phase, the moon.....

Appears to lead the sun across the sky. It is approaching the THIRD QUARTER benchmark.

Sunrise in the WEST

If the earth rotated clockwise!

Rotation

One object turning on an axis

Revolution

Two objects w/ one circling around the other