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Phases of the Moon
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Slide 1

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

New 0% Illuminated

Waxing Crescent 25% Illuminated on RHS

First Quarter 50% Illuminated on RHS

Waxing Gibbous 75% Illuminated on RHS

Full 100% Illuminated

Waning Gibbous 75% Illuminated on LHS

Third (Last) Quarter 50% Illuminated on LHS

Waning Crescent 25% Illuminated on LHS

Slide 2

Rising/Meridian/Setting Times

Rising/Meridian/Setting Times

*Assuming the moon is always on the celestial equator and above the horizon 12 hours per day.

Slide 3

Lunar Periods

Lunar Periods

Sidereal Period 27.3 days

The time between successive alignments of the earth, moon, and a star

The true orbital period of the moon

Synodic Period 29.5 days

The time between successive alignments of the earth, moon, and the sun

The period of the cycle of lunar phases

Slide 4

Lunar Eclipses

Lunar Eclipses

Total Lunar Eclipse

The moon is entirely inside the earths umbra

Partial Lunar Eclipse

The moon is partially inside the earths umbra

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

The moon is inside the Earths penumbra

These happen regularly and no one notices. The brightness of the moon only decreases by 10% to 20%

Slide 5

Solar Eclipses

Solar Eclipses

Total Solar Eclipse

The moon completely obscures the sun for an observer at this location on the Earth

Partial Solar Eclipse

The moon partially obscures the sun for an observer at this location on the Earth

Annular Solar Eclipse

The moon is near apogee and its angular diameter is insufficient to completely cover the sun. An observer for whom the moon and sun are aligned will see a ring of the sun around the moon

Slide 6

Tides

Tides

- caused by differential gravitational forces exerted by the moon (the moon pulls more on one side of the earth than the other)

Even though the suns gravitational force is much larger than the moons, its differential force is smaller (since the size of the earth is small compared to the earth-sun distance)

This moons differential force causes water bulges on the earth on both sides of the line to the moon. Tides are caused by the Earths rotation carrying observers through a water bulge. Thus, typically high tide occurs twice a day.

Neap Tides weak tides which occur when the moons and suns pull are perpendicular

Spring Tides strong tides when the moon and sun are aligned.

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