Lunar Wanderings

| Lunar Cycle | NEXT: Waxing Crescent | First Quarter | Waxing Gibbous | Full | Waning Gibbous | Third Quarter | PREVIOUS: Waning Crescent |


  1. Do the Moon's phases result from the Earth blocking the light of the Sun?
  2. What proportion of the Moon do we see?
  3. The same side of the Moon seems always to face the Earth:
      O Moon! When I look at thy beautiful face,
      Careening along through the boundaries of space
      The thought has quite frequently come to my mind
      If ever I'll gaze on thy glorious behind.
      (Ronald Ross)

      If you lived in ancient times, how might you have explained this?
  4. Can you provide an explanation, or does it seem a coincidence to you now, that the period for the revolution of the Moon about the Earth should equal the time for one rotation around its axis?
  5. In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote of...
      The horned [crescent] moon with one bright star
      Within the nether tip.

      What is wrong with this poetic description?


  6. How much of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun?
  7. Is the Illuminated side of the Moon necessarily the same as the Near side?
  8. Is the Far side of the Moon ever illuminated?
  9. See the Lunar Cycle Lab for more review questions!

| Top |