When the moon is in a phase, it changes how we see it in the sky based on where it is and how it is illuminated by the sun. The lunar cycle is divided into 8 major phases.
The first quarter phase is one of the easiest to spot. It occurs about a week into the lunar cycle and is often bright enough to be visible during daytime hours.
A waning gibbous moon phase is the sixth of eight phases that the moon goes through on a monthly basis. During this phase, the light of the Moon slowly decreases until the illuminated part reaches 50%.
This moon phase is the perfect time to take stock of what’s gone on in your life and re-evaluate the things you want for your future. You can also use this as an opportunity to forgive yourself and let go of all that is no longer serving you, like relationships that are weighing you down.
The waxing and waning phases of the moon occur once every 28 days, each one lasting for a few weeks. Astronomers break this cycle into four primary moon phases: New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon and Last Quarter, as well as four secondary phases: Waxing Crescent, Waxing Gibbous, Waning Gibbous and Waning Crescent.
The Moon passes through a cycle of phases that alters the shape of its illuminated part. Sometimes, it looks like a full circle, a half-moon or a crescent — and at other times, it’s almost invisible!
The first quarter phase is the next major moon phase after the new moon. At this time, the moon’s face is only 50 percent illuminated as seen from Earth, but it is still visible throughout the night.
It’s also a good time to watch the sky as the Moon is still high in the sky at sunset and sets around six hours later, which means we have more of a chance to see it. This is especially true in the Northern Hemisphere.
The moon phase last night (February 5th) was a Waning Gibbous. The Waning Gibbous phase is the first of the waning phases after the full moon.
The left half of the moon is illuminated during this phase. Its right half is not visible at this time in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s reversed near the equator.
At the end of a 29.5-day cycle, the moon passes through four primary phases (New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter). They all essentially equal 50% illumination on the surface of the moon, as measured from Earth.
The last quarter encourages you to refocus on what matters most, especially when it comes to relationships and goals. It’s a great time to get honest with yourself and others about what needs correcting, so you can move forward with confidence.
Every month, the Universe gives us a small gift: the new moon. It’s a bit like a cosmic reset, and many people unconsciously align with this energy to create new habits, start new projects or initiate life changes around the same time.
The new moon is the first lunar phase when the Sun and Moon are aligned in the same ecliptic direction (a line drawn between the Sun and the Earth, from our perspective). This is because the Moon’s orbit is tilted slightly, causing it to pass near the Earth from our point of view.
The moon moves through eight different phases, from a completely dark new moon to a fully illuminated full moon. This cycle is called a synodic month, and is usually about six months long.