The moon phases last week were:
The Moon’s cycle around the Earth is a regular phenomenon that is observed by all people on Earth. The Moon changes its appearance every month and can be a beautiful sight to see!
The new moon was last week on Sunday, February 5, and we were lucky to see it rising almost exactly at sunset. It stayed high in the sky all night and set as the sun rose in the morning.
This is the first of eight phases of the lunar cycle, which repeats every 29 and a half days. The phases begin with a completely dark new moon, and progress through waxing crescent, waning crescent, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter.
When you look at the Moon, you can tell what phase it is in by how much of its disk is illuminated. The Moon phases change as the percentage of illumination increases (waxing) or decreases (waning).
It’s also important to remember that our view of the illuminated part of the Moon changes as the Moon orbits Earth. This happens because the Moon’s orbit is tilted a bit, or “off kilter” by about 5 degrees to our orbit around the Sun.
The first quarter of the moon last week marked a transition from New Moon to Full Moon. At this point, the moon was at a 90 degree angle with respect to the Earth and Sun.
It is also a phase of the moon that is commonly called a Half Moon. This is because it only shows half of the illuminated side of the moon.
As the full moon approaches, the illuminated portion gradually gets smaller and smaller. It will eventually disappear entirely, and the cycle will begin again.
This is a great time to see the Moon, as it rises around noon and sets around midnight, making for fantastic sky views.
The Moon’s orbit varies slightly, so its appearance changes from one night to the next, although this is not noticeable to the human eye. This slight change is caused by libration, which causes the Moon’s orbit to slightly change its apparent size from night to night.
It was a dark and wintry full Moon last week. The full moon last Friday was dubbed the Snow Moon, and it also came close to the Spring Equinox.
The snowy nicknames for this month’s full moon vary among Native American tribes, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, but it’s generally thought to be a moon of winter. It’s also known as the Wolf Moon, and in the Sioux tribe it means “wolves run together.”
The February full moon was called the Snow Moon because the snow was falling heavily in the northern US and Canada. Other wintry-sounding names for this month’s moon include the Hunger Moon, and in North America it’s often called the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, as well as the Egg Moon and among coastal tribes, the Full Fish Moon.
The last quarter of the moon is when half of the Moon is illuminated, and it can be viewed from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. This phase got its name because the Moon has completed three-quarters of its orbit around Earth.
The moon phases change each month, as the lunar cycle repeats itself. This is a product of the Moon’s orbit, which allows different parts of its surface to be illuminated by the Sun during each lunar cycle.
These cycles can be confusing, but they’re a fun way to look at the sky from Earth. There are some online resources that make it easier to follow the moon cycle – even without having to learn complicated math formulas. These include a Moon Phase Calendar and Calculator that will put the dates and times for all the Moon’s phases at your fingertips.