NOV 30, 2017 09:17 AM PST

Everything You Need to Know About the Lunar Cycle


Whenever you look up at the sky at night, you'll see a bevy of stars from distant stellar systems. On the other hand, you might also see the Moon, depending on how well illuminated it is by the Sun's reflected light.

The Moon goes through something known as the Lunar Cycle, which is a repetitive series of phases that alternate every 29.5 days. Most people are familiar with the terms Full Moon and New Moon - when the Moon is most visible or least visible respectively - but several stages exist in between these.

One might also refer the Moon as waning or waxing, depending on whether the lit surface of the Moon is shrinking or growing. As time passes after a New Moon, our natural satellite exhibits the following phases:

• After ~4 days: waxing crescent
• After ~7 days: first quarter
• After ~10 days: waxing gibbous
• After ~14 days: full
• After ~18 days: waning gibbous
• After ~22 days: third quarter
• After ~26 days: waning crescent
• After ~29 days: new

Regarding what causes the Lunar Cycle to happen, the Earth essentially casts a shadow on the Moon depending on its position relative to the Moon and Sun. Positions are continuously changing as the Moon orbits the Earth and the Earth orbits the Sun; therefore, the cycle repeats itself.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 14, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 14, 2018
Here's What Happens When a Fly Lands on Your Food
If you’re like me, then you probably hate it when flies land on your food. But why is it such a big deal anyway? When flies land on your food, it&rsq...
NOV 22, 2018
Videos
NOV 22, 2018
The science of gratitude
On a day like Thanksgiving, it is easy to remember all that we are thankful for. But for a while now scientists have been trying to crack the code behind t...
DEC 05, 2018
Videos
DEC 05, 2018
Promising Results From Early Trials of Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Anemia
More than 90,000 Americans and millions of people around the world have SCA....
DEC 05, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2018
SpaceX Launches International Space Station Resupply Mission
On Wednesday, Elon Musk-owned SpaceX launched its 20th rocket of 2018 to send a fresh batch of supplies to the International Space Station. The rocket blas...
DEC 06, 2018
Videos
DEC 06, 2018
Stopping the Spread of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
This informative video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines the problem of antibiotic resistance....
DEC 12, 2018
Videos
DEC 12, 2018
Why Don't We Clone Extinct or Endangered Animals?
While estimates about the number of species that go extinct vary widely, one thing is certain: we can list many animals that have gone extinct....
Loading Comments...