What are the different phases of the moon and when is the next full moon?

EACH night there is a slightly different view of the moon, each is the result ofthe moon going through a different phase.

The moon has eight different phases that are detectable from earth and no matter where you are in the world, each night the view of the moon will appear slightly different from the view from the night before. Dates for full moons vary from year to year as well, so mark your calendars for dates coming in 2022.

What are the eight phases of the moon?

The shape of the moon does not change although it may appear as if it does from earth’s point of view. However, what is actually changing is the view we have each night. The moonlight at night is actually light from the sun that is simply reflecting off the moon’s surface as the moon does not produce its own light.

Moon phases have their own unique name and look, each one different from the other. The eight moon phases are: New, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent.

According to Space Place from NASA, this is what each phase can be described as and how it might look from earth.

  • New: the moon is not visible in its new moon phase.
  • Waxing Crescent: In the Northern Hemisphere, the waxing crescent phase appears as a thin crescent of light on the moon's right side.
  • First Quarter: half moon appearance.
  • Waxing Gibbous: This phase is between a half moon and full moon. Waxing notes it is getting larger and growing towards the size of a full moon.
  • Full: During this phase the moon is completely illuminated.
  • Waning Gibbous: The opposite of the waxing gibbous, as the moon is appearing smaller.
  • Third Quarter: The opposite half of the first quarter is illuminated giving another half moon appearance.
  • Waning Crescent: In the Northern Hemisphere, the waning crescent is illuminated on its left side just opposite of the waxing crescent.

The moon orbits the earth during its 27 day cycle, each phase is displayed one after the other.

When can you see the full moons in 2022?

Once a month the moon will be in its full moon phase, and occasionally there will even be super moons in which the moon appears even greater in size than usual. Once in a while there will be a few of the rare full moons such as the blood moon, super moon, blue moon, and harvest moon.

The dates for the coming year’s full moons are:

  • January 17
  • February 16
  • March 18
  • April 16
  • May 15
  • June 14 (supermoon)
  • July 13 (supermoon)
  • August 11,
  • September 10
  • October 9
  • November 8
  • December 7

For the remainder of 2021, the dates to expect the year’s final full moons are: November 19 and December 18.

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