The Phases of the Moon.
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How Do the Phases Get Their Names?
When the Moon appears smaller than a quarter, we call it a
. When the Moon appears larger than a
quarter, we call it gibbous. When the moon is getting bigger (phases
New to Full) it is waxing. When it is getting smaller (phases Full to
New) it is waning.
For example, if today the Moon were a waxing
crescent, then we would only see a little
piece of the half of the Moon that is reflecting sunlight. But
tomorrow, that piece would be bigger. If today the
Moon were a waning gibbous, then we would see a
big piece of the half of the Moon that is reflecting
sunlight. But tomorrow, that piece would be smaller.
There is an easy way to tell if a crescent Moon is growing or
shrinking. If the crescent Moon looks like a "C" (C for collapsing!),
it is shrinking.
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