The Moon

by Dominic Ford, Editor
Last updated: 24 Mar 2020

The Moon is a 24-day-old waning crescent, and is approaching new moon. From Ashburn, it is visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:36 (EDT) – 3 hours and 12 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 27° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:29.

22 May 2022  –  Moon at Last Quarter
30 May 2022  –  New Moon
07 Jun 2022  –  Moon at First Quarter
14 Jun 2022  –  Full 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 2022, 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 2022

Date Event Moon's declination
Date Event Moon's declination
02 Jan 2022 13:34 ESTNew Moon26°17'S
09 Jan 2022 13:11 ESTMoon at First Quarter4°21'N
17 Jan 2022 18:48 ESTFull Moon24°51'N
25 Jan 2022 08:41 ESTMoon at Last Quarter11°20'S
01 Feb 2022 00:47 ESTNew Moon21°48'S
08 Feb 2022 08:50 ESTMoon at First Quarter16°54'N
16 Feb 2022 11:56 ESTFull Moon16°57'N
23 Feb 2022 17:33 ESTMoon at Last Quarter21°54'S
02 Mar 2022 12:36 ESTNew Moon11°34'S
10 Mar 2022 05:46 ESTMoon at First Quarter25°10'N
18 Mar 2022 03:17 EDTFull Moon4°55'N
25 Mar 2022 01:37 EDTMoon at Last Quarter26°44'S
01 Apr 2022 02:25 EDTNew Moon1°16'N
09 Apr 2022 02:48 EDTMoon at First Quarter26°22'N
16 Apr 2022 14:54 EDTFull Moon8°04'S
23 Apr 2022 07:56 EDTMoon at Last Quarter24°18'S
30 Apr 2022 16:29 EDTNew Moon13°49'N
08 May 2022 20:22 EDTMoon at First Quarter20°25'N
16 May 2022 00:14 EDTFull Moon19°15'S
22 May 2022 14:43 EDTMoon at Last Quarter15°51'S
30 May 2022 07:31 EDTNew Moon23°14'N
07 Jun 2022 10:49 EDTMoon at First Quarter9°41'N
14 Jun 2022 07:51 EDTFull Moon25°57'S
20 Jun 2022 23:11 EDTMoon at Last Quarter3°59'S
28 Jun 2022 22:53 EDTNew Moon26°54'N
06 Jul 2022 22:14 EDTMoon at First Quarter3°00'S
13 Jul 2022 14:37 EDTFull Moon26°09'S
20 Jul 2022 10:19 EDTMoon at Last Quarter8°48'N
28 Jul 2022 13:56 EDTNew Moon23°38'N
05 Aug 2022 07:07 EDTMoon at First Quarter15°12'S
11 Aug 2022 21:35 EDTFull Moon19°51'S
19 Aug 2022 00:36 EDTMoon at Last Quarter19°59'N
27 Aug 2022 04:18 EDTNew Moon14°34'N
03 Sep 2022 14:08 EDTMoon at First Quarter24°15'S
10 Sep 2022 05:58 EDTFull Moon8°55'S
17 Sep 2022 17:52 EDTMoon at Last Quarter26°39'N
25 Sep 2022 17:55 EDTNew Moon2°07'N
02 Oct 2022 20:14 EDTMoon at First Quarter27°23'S
09 Oct 2022 16:54 EDTFull Moon4°11'N
17 Oct 2022 13:15 EDTMoon at Last Quarter26°11'N
25 Oct 2022 06:49 EDTNew Moon11°05'S
01 Nov 2022 02:37 EDTMoon at First Quarter23°12'S
08 Nov 2022 06:02 ESTFull Moon16°46'N
16 Nov 2022 08:27 ESTMoon at Last Quarter18°27'N
23 Nov 2022 17:58 ESTNew Moon22°02'S
30 Nov 2022 09:37 ESTMoon at First Quarter12°56'S
07 Dec 2022 23:08 ESTFull Moon25°28'N
16 Dec 2022 03:56 ESTMoon at Last Quarter5°53'N
23 Dec 2022 05:17 ESTNew Moon27°18'S
29 Dec 2022 20:21 ESTMoon at First Quarter0°34'N

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