Q:

How many days does a full moon last?

A:

Quick Answer

According to NASA, a full moon technically only lasts for the moment when the Earth is directly between the sun and the moon. However, full moons appear to last for approximately three days.

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Full Answer

Over the course of approximately 28 days, the moon goes through different phases based on the relative positions of the Earth, the moon and the sun. A true full moon only occurs during the instant when the moon appears completely illuminated to observers on Earth. However, when most people talk about the full moon, they are referring to the several-day period when the moon appears to be at least 95 percent full.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where does "gibbous moon" mean?

    A:

    The term "gibbous moon" refers to the phase of the moon's cycle when more than half but less than all of the moon is illuminated by the sun, making it visible from Earth. A gibbous moon can be either waxing or waning, explains Universe Today.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between a new moon vs. a full moon?

    A:

    The phases of the moon are determined by the angle at which sunlight approaches the moon relative to the position of the Earth. When the sun is behind the Earth, relative to the moon, full sunlight falls on the hemisphere of the moon that faces Earth. When the sun is behind the moon, relative to Earth, sunlight falls on the opposite lunar hemisphere.

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  • Q:

    Why is there a full moon only once a month?

    A:

    There is only one full moon each month because the moon only opposes the sun once per month in its orbit. The phases of the moon are caused by how much of its visible surface is illuminated by the sun's light, and a full moon only occurs when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.

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  • Q:

    Where does the moon get its light from?

    A:

    The moon gets its light from the sun, the same source as Earth and other planets. The location of the moon along its orbit affects the amount of light it receives from the sun, leading to the different phases of the moon.

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