January 26, 2011

Intro to Astronomy: What is a Last Quarter Moon?

A last quarter moon is a phase of the moon that occurs between a full moon and a new moon. The moon appears to be half-illuminated in the sky as the moon is on its way to completing its orbit around the Earth. The last quarter moon rises around midnight and appears at its highest in the sky at dawn. The last quarter moon comes around three weeks after the new moon and is named because it appears in the last quarter of the moon’s orbit. The moon will begin to set around noon, so you will be able to see the moon in the morning sky.

Viewing the Last Quarter Moon

You will be able to get a good look at the last quarter moon tonight as it is going to rise around midnight. As the moon moves through its phases from last quarter to new moon, you may not be able to notice the moon during the day because it will appear near the sun and could be drowned out by the sunlight. You can see the moon more closely with your telescope and can notice that only half of the moon is visible. Notice the differences in what you can see between the last quarter and full moon. See the calendar of events from Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes for more chances to see celestial objects.

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