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 Fairfield, it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:51 (EDT) – 3 hours and 26 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 20° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:57.

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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 Fairfield local time.

Date Sun
rises at
Moon
rises at
Altitude of Moon
at sunrise
Direction of Moon
at sunrise
08 Apr 202306:2421:1311°south-west
09 Apr 202306:2422:2414°south-west
10 Apr 202306:2323:3717°south-west
11 Apr 202306:1800:4919°south
12 Apr 202306:1801:5520°south
13 Apr 202306:1702:5021°south
14 Apr 202306:1603:3520°south-east
15 Apr 202306:1204:1217°south-east
16 Apr 202306:1104:4114°south-east
17 Apr 202306:1105:0911°east
18 Apr 202306:1005:31east
19 Apr 202306:0505:54east

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 370,000 km. Its celestial coordinates will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 19h42m30s 26°35'S Sagittarius 32'13"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 13 April 2023
Sunrise
06:17
Sunset
19:33
Twilight ends
21:09
Twilight begins
04:37

23-day old moon
Waning Crescent

44%

23 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:55 14:05 21:15
Venus 07:59 15:27 22:54
Moon 02:50 07:18 11:47
Mars 10:28 18:08 01:48
Jupiter 06:21 12:50 19:20
Saturn 04:32 09:54 15:16
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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

13 Apr 2023  –  Moon at Last Quarter
20 Apr 2023  –  New Moon
27 Apr 2023  –  Moon at First Quarter
05 May 2023  –  Full Moon

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

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41.14°N
73.26°W
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