The Moon

by Dominic Ford, Editor
Last updated: 24 Mar 2020

The Moon is 10 days old, waxing gibbous, and is approaching full moon. From San Diego, it is visible from soon after it rises, at 13:51, until soon before it sets at 03:48.

15 Apr 2024  –  Moon at First Quarter
23 Apr 2024  –  Full Moon
01 May 2024  –  Moon at Last Quarter
07 May 2024  –  New Moon
The Moon

The Moon at First Quarter. Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite, orbiting it once every 27.3 days, at a distance of 380,000 km (0.00254 astronomical units).

It has almost exactly the same angular size as the Sun – roughly half a degree – a coincidence which means it can occasionally completely cover the Sun's disk to generate a total solar eclipse, but with so little margin that the geometry has to be absolutely exact.

The Moon is the only heavenly body on which surface features can be resolved by the unaided eye. Its mottled pattern of light and dark areas represent two distinct types of terrain. The dark areas are called maria – originally so named because they were thought to be oceans of water, but they are now known to be vast flat volcanic planes. Between the maria, the lighter colored terrain is considerably rougher and more mountainous – the lunar highlands.

To bring the Moon's heavily cratered surface into view, nothing more expensive than a cheap pair of binoculars is needed.

Dates of the Moon's phases

The table below lists the phases of the Moon in 2024, computed from NASA's DE430 planetary ephemeris. To show events in other years, use the control below.

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The Moons phases in 2024

Date Event Moon's declination
Date Event Moon's declination
03 Jan 2024 19:31 PSTMoon at Last Quarter4°28'S
11 Jan 2024 03:58 PSTNew Moon26°49'S
17 Jan 2024 19:53 PSTMoon at First Quarter11°07'N
25 Jan 2024 09:53 PSTFull Moon23°41'N
02 Feb 2024 15:18 PSTMoon at Last Quarter17°55'S
09 Feb 2024 15:00 PSTNew Moon18°43'S
16 Feb 2024 07:01 PSTMoon at First Quarter22°45'N
24 Feb 2024 04:30 PSTFull Moon12°47'N
03 Mar 2024 07:24 PSTMoon at Last Quarter26°45'S
10 Mar 2024 01:01 PSTNew Moon6°03'S
16 Mar 2024 21:11 PDTMoon at First Quarter28°22'N
25 Mar 2024 00:00 PDTFull Moon1°01'S
01 Apr 2024 20:15 PDTMoon at Last Quarter28°06'S
08 Apr 2024 11:21 PDTNew Moon7°47'N
15 Apr 2024 12:13 PDTMoon at First Quarter26°03'N
23 Apr 2024 16:48 PDTFull Moon14°25'S
01 May 2024 04:27 PDTMoon at Last Quarter21°54'S
07 May 2024 20:23 PDTNew Moon19°48'N
15 May 2024 04:48 PDTMoon at First Quarter16°59'N
23 May 2024 06:53 PDTFull Moon24°25'S
30 May 2024 10:13 PDTMoon at Last Quarter10°42'S
06 Jun 2024 05:38 PDTNew Moon27°10'N
13 Jun 2024 22:19 PDTMoon at First Quarter4°11'N
21 Jun 2024 18:07 PDTFull Moon28°21'S
28 Jun 2024 14:53 PDTMoon at Last Quarter2°35'N
05 Jul 2024 15:58 PDTNew Moon27°39'N
13 Jul 2024 15:49 PDTMoon at First Quarter9°25'S
21 Jul 2024 03:17 PDTFull Moon25°01'S
27 Jul 2024 19:52 PDTMoon at Last Quarter15°24'N
04 Aug 2024 04:14 PDTNew Moon21°09'N
12 Aug 2024 08:19 PDTMoon at First Quarter21°07'S
19 Aug 2024 11:25 PDTFull Moon15°39'S
26 Aug 2024 02:26 PDTMoon at Last Quarter25°04'N
02 Sep 2024 18:56 PDTNew Moon9°38'N
10 Sep 2024 23:06 PDTMoon at First Quarter27°57'S
17 Sep 2024 19:34 PDTFull Moon2°46'S
24 Sep 2024 11:50 PDTMoon at Last Quarter28°42'N
02 Oct 2024 11:50 PDTNew Moon4°08'S
10 Oct 2024 11:55 PDTMoon at First Quarter27°24'S
17 Oct 2024 04:26 PDTFull Moon10°54'N
24 Oct 2024 01:03 PDTMoon at Last Quarter24°33'N
01 Nov 2024 05:48 PDTNew Moon17°16'S
08 Nov 2024 21:56 PSTMoon at First Quarter19°26'S
15 Nov 2024 13:28 PSTFull Moon22°24'N
22 Nov 2024 17:28 PSTMoon at Last Quarter13°48'N
30 Nov 2024 22:22 PSTNew Moon26°20'S
08 Dec 2024 07:27 PSTMoon at First Quarter6°34'S
15 Dec 2024 01:01 PSTFull Moon28°13'N
22 Dec 2024 14:18 PSTMoon at Last Quarter0°26'S
30 Dec 2024 14:28 PSTNew Moon28°02'S

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32.72°N
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