Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

Moon at Last Quarter

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Moon feed

Objects: The Moon
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
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 morning sky, becoming accessible around 01:22, when it reaches an altitude of 7° above your south-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:39, 33° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:54, 30° above your southern horizon.

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 Fairfield local time.

Date Sun
rises at
rises at
Altitude of Moon
at sunrise
Direction of Moon
at sunrise
13 Jan 202807:1417:3111°west
14 Jan 202807:1418:5217°west
15 Jan 202807:1420:1022°west
16 Jan 202807:1321:2626°south-west
17 Jan 202807:1322:4028°south-west
18 Jan 202807:1223:5229°south-west
19 Jan 202807:1201:0328°south
20 Jan 202807:1102:1326°south
21 Jan 202807:1103:1922°south
22 Jan 202807:1004:2019°south
23 Jan 202807:0905:1314°south-east
24 Jan 202807:0905:59south-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 378,000 km. Its celestial coordinates will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 13h35m30s 15°37'S Virgo 31'33"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 18 January 2028
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

22-day old moon
Waning Crescent


22 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:13 13:18 18:23
Venus 09:10 14:35 20:01
Moon 23:52 05:19 10:36
Mars 08:03 12:59 17:54
Jupiter 21:43 03:55 10:06
Saturn 10:59 17:23 23:47
All times shown in EST.


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

18 Jan 2028  –  Moon at Last Quarter
26 Jan 2028  –  New Moon
03 Feb 2028  –  Moon at First Quarter
10 Feb 2028  –  Full Moon

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.






Color scheme