JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Waxing crescent Moon. Optical image of a waxing (increasing in apparant size) crescent Moon. The phases of the Moon are due to it presenting a differing amount of its sunlit face to the Earth during its orbit. When the Moon is on the same side of the Earth as the Sun, the entire night side of the Moon faces Earth, and we see a new Moon. Around 14 days later, the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, and we see its full sunlit face; a full Moon. Between these phases, the Moon passes from a crescent through a half Moon (around 7 days) to a gibbous Moon. This Moon is about 5 days old.
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