SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Moon faces and phases. Artwork showing faces and phases of the Moon as the Moon rotates around Earth. As the Moon orbits the Earth (blue) every 29.53 days, the same face of the Moon (green) presents itself to our planet. Shadows produce Moon phases during a lunar month. The Moon phases are (anticlockwise from top): new moon; waxing crescent; first quarter; waning gibbous; full Moon; waxing gibbous; last quarter; and waning crescent. Lunar phases occur because the Moon does not produce light, but reflects sunlight (coming from top). New Moons occur when the Moon lies between the Earth and Sun, and full moons occur when the Moon is furthest from the Sun.
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