Why Does Moon Change Shape?

Moon does not really change it shape, it is half lit by sunlight because its one revolution and rotation is completed in 29.5 days around its axis leaving the other half in darkness. We can only see the part of the moon which receives sunlight and during its revolution the vision of sunlit area differs. This is the reason visual changes are observed in the moon.

The changes in the moon are known as phases. When the moon comes in between the earth and the sun, we cannot see that part of the moon which is receiving sunlight. This is the reason the moon cannot be seen on that night and the rising and setting of moon is at the same time as the sun. This is called as new moon. When the moon’s half orbit is complete around the sun, the shape appears as half circle as half circle because only half sunlit part of the moon is seen. This is called the first quarter because it rises in the noon and sets in the midnight.

Moon in phases Why Does Moon Change Shape?

When the moon reaches that point where the earth is between the moon and the sun, we are to see the whole part of moon that receives light from the sun. This is called full moon and rises when the sun sets with the rising sun.

After almost one week of full moon, it appears again as half circle and we see half of the sunlit part. Moon only covers its last quarter of the orbit around the earth. This is called last quarter and the moon rises in midnight and sets during noon.

It is not necessary that the lunar eclipse will always take place when there is full moon because it is higher and lower than the orbit of the earth. The earth’s orbit is not in line and the shadow of the earth does not fall on the moon. This revolution of moon around the earth gives an impression to us as if the moon is changing its shape.

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