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The phases of the moon, all the info


The description of the four phases of the moon. From full moon to new moon, falling moon is Crescent moon. Description of the types of lunar eclipse and when there will be.

There moon orbits the Earth at an average distance of 382,400 kilometers. The moon takes 29.53 days to complete its orbit, this path is called the lunar month. During these days the Moon goes through all its phases. During these phases it is possible to notice the changes of the moon, even with the naked eye.

As happens for the Earth, in fact, even the Moon is only half illuminated by the sun, while the rest is in shadow, unless until the full moon is reached. Therefore, we see the image of the Moon change, each time it passes to the next point of its orbit. During these days, despite the changes of the moon, the illuminated face always remains the one facing the sun.

Because we can see the moon from the earth

The moon is visible from the earth because its surface reflects the sunlight. In the course of a month, the moon orbits only once. So the face of the moon turned towards the sun, if we could see it from that other side, we would notice that it is always illuminated and therefore always seems to be full. Since we are part of the Solar System this is not possible, so we can see the light reflecting on the moon and the repetitions that occur precisely every month. These repetitions are the phases of the moon that distinguish the waxing from the waning Moon.

The first phase of the Moon: the new moon

The first lunar phase, or new moon, occurs when the moon is aligned between the sun and the earth. This position marks the beginning of the lunar cycle, which corresponds to the beginning of the month of our calendar. In fact, the Gregorian calendar, that is the one we tacitly use all over the world, is based on the phases of the moon.

At this stage, we do not see the face of the moon, because the brilliance of the sun hides it. When, on the other hand, the Moon is exactly on the same line as the Sun and the Earth, we have an eclipse of the sun. When will the next total eclipse be?At the moment, the next total eclipse will occur in 2026.

The second phase of the moon: waxing moon

When the moon is waxing, it means that it is moving east and therefore begins to become more visible from Earth. On the first day, you will only notice a very small patch of light in the sky. As the days pass, the wedge of the moon enlarges, that is, it grows.

For us who live in the northern hemisphere, the area illuminated by the lunar disk is on the right, for those who live in the southern hemisphere this will be the one on the left.

The third phase of the moon: the full moon

During the month, the moon continues to travel its orbit, so when it reaches the middle of its path, this period is called the full moon. During the third phase of the moon we see the entire face of the moon illuminated. This moment is certainly one of the most beautiful during the passage of the various phases of the moon.

The fourth and last phase: waning moon

The last phase involves the waning moon, this occurs during the second half of the month after the full moon. In this phase the moon starts to get smaller and smaller. Unlike the period of the waxing moon, in this case in our hemisphere, the illuminated area is on the left, while in the southern hemisphere the illuminated area will be the one on the right.

When we arrive at the last quarter of the moon, that is when it has completed three quarters of its path, we will see it shrink more and more until it becomes invisible, thus returning to the phase of the new moon.

Sun, Earth and Moon alignment: the eclipse

L'eclipse it is an astronomical optical event that occurs in the moment between two celestial bodies such as a planet and a satellite, a light source such as the Sun stands in the way. In astronomy, the eclipse is also called occultation.

Depending on how the celestial body is hidden, there can be various types of eclipses. This can be:

Partial Eclipse: when the celestial body is partially obscured.

Annular Eclipse: the disk of the Moon overlaps without completely covering the disk of the Sun.

Eclipse Total: finally, this happens when the body is completely darkened.

The eclipse can occur in any solar system and between any celestial body in relation to a light source. In our case, we can only see the eclipse phenomena that occur in our solar system and that relate the Sun, Earth and Moon.

Giant moon

Could be useful: giant moon, when and why

Moon phases: agriculture and sowing

Respect the moon phases in the cultivation of the vegetable garden, but also of the garden and orchard, it is a guarantee of better results. The ancient rules handed down and never abandoned since ancient times (and there will be a reason) have also been confirmed by the science that has endorsed the rules of biodynamic agriculture. Recovering these traditional knowledge today is a contribution to a healthier life and diet.

A time at moon phases the farmers were more attentive to this because, struggling with a more genuine way of farming and without the support of chemistry and technology, the influence of the terrestrial satellite on sowing, transplanting and pruning was considered a necessary support. Then modernity took over and the moon phases they began to be considered, wrongly, superfluous.

The modern desire for a healthier way of life and in balance with nature is now bringing attention back to the lunar calendars, the almanacs which, depending on moon phases indicate the most propitious moments to carry out the various operations in the garden: sowing, harvesting, transplanting, grafting and pruning above all. There is nothing difficult and the results will pay off for the attention.

The moon phases the four listed above are significant. They happen about 7 days after each other.

  • new Moon or new moon
    When the moon is not seen because it turns its half to the Earth perpetually in shadow.
  • First quarteror first stage
  • When you see the first half of the sunlit part.
  • full moon or full moon
  • When you see all the sunlit part.
  • Last quarter or last phase of the moon
    When you see the second half of the illuminated part.

The period from new moon at full moon where the visible part of the moon increases is called di Crescent moon. The one from the full moon at the end of the last quarter he is called di falling moon.

How to know when it is a waning or a waxing moon?

With the Crescent moon, the dark side of the moon facing west. With the waning moon, the dark side of the moon faces east. There is also a proverb that can come by car. Since the dark part is also the 'curved' one, it is said that: hump to the west, crescent moon, hump to the east, waning moon.

The phases of the moon in the garden

The new moon that marks the beginning of the Crescent moon stimulates leaf development.

Calculation of the phases of the moon

The calculation of the moon phases today is carried out with specialized software such as ECLIPSE V6.90 which use the formulas proposed by the mathematician Jean Meeus.

Previously, the calculation of the moon phases was performed through an iterative calculation that interpolated from a second degree function the instants (or times) in which the difference, in absolute value, between the apparent longitude of the Sun and that of the Moon reaches the following angles :

| 0 | ° a new Moon
| 270 | ° in the first quarter
| 180 | ° at full moon
| 90 | ° in the last quarter

I also remember that in the astronomical field the phases of the moon are always calculated and reported in terms of geocentricity, that is for a hypothetical observer located at the center of the Earth.

What to sow with a growing moon

This lunar phase is the most suitable for most of the sowing of early fruits (escarole, endive and radicchio), beans and slow-growing plants such as carrot and parsley, which in this way grow faster. Turnip beets sown on the crescent moon are better resistant to pests. This phase is also the most favorable for the harvesting of all vegetables for fresh consumption.

What to sow with a waning moon

Also in falling moon some vegetables are sown. Green light for the sowing of lettuce which in this way does not mount too quickly to seed and the onion, which thus concentrates the stimulus to grow downwards. Broad bean, lentil and pea are best when sown on a waning moon. In the waning moon, all the vegetables to be stored are collected.

To learn more about how to exploitmoon phases in agriculturethe dedicated page is available: sowing and moon phases.

Upcoming eclipses

The upcoming total lunar eclipses will occur on January 21, 2019 and September 7, 2025.

The upcoming partial eclipses of the moon will occur on July 16, 2019, October 23, 2023 and August 28, 2026.

There next total solar eclipse visible in Europe will take place on August 12, 2026.

Two other total eclipses not visible from Europe will instead occur on 14 December 2020 (Argentina) and 8 April 2024 (United States of America)

Annular eclipses of the sun visible from Europe they will take place on 21 June 2020 and 10 June 2021. On 21 June 2020, an annular eclipse from Egypt will be seen.

The next partial solar eclipses visible in Europe instead, they will take place on 25 October 2022 and 29 March 2025.


Video: Learn the 8 Phases of the Moon (December 2021).