The moon itself shines by reflecting sunlight. With respect to our planet, with the omission of the Sun, of all celestial objects Moon has the largest angular size – the full moon 30 times and more than 1300 times brighter than Venus.
Interestingly, the phases of the moon can be seen right at home – Spend a little experiment. All you need – a tennis ball that has a rough texture.
You need to go out and keep the ball, focusing on the sun. If the Moon is also visible in the sky, it is essential to hold the ball at arm’s length towards her.
If the angular distance between the ball, which acts as the moon and the sun will be the same as that between this Moon and the Sun, the Moon and the ball will be in the same phase. Of course, if you move the ball to another situation, its phase changes due to changes in the angle of illumination. You can move the ball so that it will be wholly illuminated (full moon) or lit only half (quarter).
Moon phases associated with the situation of the Moon on the Earth’s orbit. Satellite passes through the entire cycle phases 29.53 per day – from one phase of the new moon to the other. In this phase, from the point of view of a spectator on Earth, the Moon is in the same position in the sky as the sun. Therefore, we cannot see the new moon, unless it passes directly in front of the Sun – then there is a solar eclipse. Half Moon, we see, when it passes the first quarter of the cycle – approximately 7.4 days after the new moon. At this stage, it goes back 6 hours later, the sun, generally around noon.
Phase complete moon occurs within 14.8 days after the new moon, the moon is straight opposite the Sun, its disk is fully illuminated. It goes back at sunset, its highest point in the sky – at midnight, and sets at sunrise. Last quarter (when the moon is illuminated by the other half) comes after 22.1 days after the new moon. In this phase, the moon will rise 6 hours before the sun – around midnight.
Near the filled moon come March 5 – at this instant the Moon is at apogee (the farthest point from Earth orbit), at a distance of 406,384 km. This will be the little full moon this year. Because of this, the Moon moves in its orbit is fairly slow, both of these effects make it move across the sky from night to night particularly inconspicuous.