Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

Moon at Last Quarter

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Moon feed

Objects: The Moon
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The sky at

The Moon will pass last quarter phase, rising in the middle of the night and appearing prominent in the pre-dawn sky.

From San Diego, it will be visible from soon after it rises, at 00:28, until soon before it sets at 11:08.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

At this time in its monthly cycle of phases, it appears almost exactly half illuminated.

The Moon orbits the Earth once every four weeks, causing its phases to cycle through new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter, and back to new moon once every 29.5 days.

As it progresses through this cycle, it is visible at different times of day. At last quarter, it rises in the middle of the night and appears high in the sky by dawn. It sets at around lunchtime. More information about the Moon's phases is available here.

Observing the Moon at last quarter

Over coming days, the Moon will rise later each day, so that it is visible for less time before sunrise and rises less far above the eastern horizon before dawn. By the time it reaches new moon, it will rise at around dawn and set at around dusk, making it visible only during the daytime.

Its daily progress is charted below, with all times are given in San Diego local time.

Date Sun
rises at
rises at
Altitude of Moon
at sunrise
Direction of Moon
at sunrise
10 Feb 202006:3418:0915°west
11 Feb 202006:3419:2023°west
12 Feb 202006:3320:2931°west
13 Feb 202006:3221:3836°south-west
14 Feb 202006:3122:4539°south-west
15 Feb 202006:3023:5140°south
16 Feb 202006:2900:5638°south
17 Feb 202006:2801:5934°south
18 Feb 202006:2702:5829°south-east
19 Feb 202006:2603:5423°south-east
20 Feb 202006:2504:4416°south-east
21 Feb 202006:2405:28south-east

The exact moment of last quarter

The exact moment of last quarter is defined as the time when the Moon's ecliptic longitude is exactly 90° away from the Sun's ecliptic longitude, as observed from the center of the Earth. However, the Moon does not appear in any way special at this instant in time, and a last quarter moon can be observed at any time in the pre-dawn sky.

At the moment it reaches last quarter, the Moon's distance from the Earth will be 376,000 km. Its celestial coordinates will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 15h39m40s 16°05'S Libra 31'45"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 15 Feb 2020

The sky on 15 February 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

22-day old moon
Waning Crescent


22 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:09 12:59 18:49
Venus 08:28 14:40 20:52
Moon 23:51 05:27 10:58
Mars 03:07 08:04 13:02
Jupiter 04:17 09:19 14:21
Saturn 04:55 10:01 15:07
All times shown in PST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

15 Feb 2020  –  Moon at Last Quarter
23 Feb 2020  –  New Moon
02 Mar 2020  –  Moon at First Quarter
09 Mar 2020  –  Full Moon

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.


San Diego



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