Moon Phases Video

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Enjoy this video from NASA illustrating in music and animation the phases of the moon. Note the small animation in the upper left corner of the video screen that shows the position of the moon as it rotates around the earth.

The illustration shows the earth rotating every 24 hours as the moon circles the earth monthly. The video feations libration or the wavering of the moon perceived by earth-bound observers and caused by changes in their perspective. It permits an observer to see slightly different hemispheres of the surface at different times.

You’ll see it go from its first quarter and waxing as a new moon, then appear in its crescent phase. It is a half-moon when the sun fully lights the side of the moon that faces earth and appears like a half circle. It changes to gibbous with humped sides or three-quarters full followed by a full moon when the sun fully lights the side of the moon that faces earth. Throughout the cycle, the moon passes from new to full while its visible side grows from a small crescent shape to a full moon. After the full moon the moon begins its waning cycle back to a new moon.

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