Phase of the Moon

Current Phase

Date & time Wed, Mar 29 2017, 17:01:31 UTC Current Moon Phase
Phase of the Moon Waxing crescent
% current cycle 6.0%
% full 12.1%
Time to next Full Moon Approx. 12 days, 23 hours
Time to next New Moon Approx. 27 days, 18 hours
Zodiacal position of Moon 0° of Taurus (30.7°)

Note: “New Moon,” “First quarter,” “Full Moon” and “Last quarter” are shown as the phase when within approximately 12 hours (approximately 1.7% of the Moon's cycle; 1 day is approximately 3.4% of the Moon's cycle) of the astronomical event. The image shown is also accurate to within approximately 12 hours. The calculations of the times to the next New and Full Moons are accurate to within approximately 15%. Detailed Sun and Moon calendars are also available.

The Phases

The Moon is described as “waxing” when increasing in illumination from the New Moon to the Full Moon, and “waning” when decreasing in illumination from the Full Moon back to the New Moon. Viewed from the Earth, the “shadow-line” (technically called the “terminator”) always moves from right to left across the face of the Moon in the northern hemisphere; if the right-hand side of the Moon is light, there will be a Full Moon before the next New Moon, and vice versa if the right-hand side of the Moon is dark. “Gibbous” is an archaic word denoting a swelling or convexity (also synonymous with “humpbacked”) whilst “crescent” is self-explanatory.

Moon Phase % Cycle
New Moon 0% / 100%
Waxing crescent 0%–25%
First quarter 25%
Waxing gibbous 25%–50%
Full Moon 50%
Waning gibbous 50%–75%
Last quarter 75%
Waning crescent 75%–100%

Even though the Moon orbits the Earth in approximately 27.3 days, a complete Moon cycle (i.e. from New Moon to New Moon) takes approximately 29.5 days as a result of the Earth's motion around the Sun.

Full Moon Names

Month English Name Native American Name
January Old Moon Wolf Moon
February Wolf Moon Snow Moon
March Lenten Moon Worm Moon
April Egg Moon Pink Moon
May Milk Moon Flower Moon
June Flower Moon Strawberry Moon
July Hay Moon Buck Moon
August Grain Moon Sturgeon Moon
September Fruit Moon Harvest Moon
October Harvest Moon Hunter's Moon
November Hunter's Moon Beaver Moon
December Oak Moon Cold Moon

In modern usage, the term “Blue Moon” refers to the second of two full moons to occur in a single calendar month. On average this happens once every 2.7 years. The term “Black Moon” — according to one definition — refers to a condition where February (being the only month shorter than a lunar cycle) has no Full Moon at all, in which case either the preceding January or the following March, or both, will have a Blue Moon. A Black Moon occurs approximately once every 19 years. Both of these conditions can vary according to time zone.