Q:

What are types of moons?

A:

Quick Answer

There are eight different phases or "types" of the moon: new, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, last quarter and waning crescent. These phases repeat themselves approximately every 29.5 days.

Know More
What are types of moons?
Credit: artpartner-images Photographer's Choice Getty Images

Full Answer

During the revolution of the moon around the Earth, the moon reflects the sun's light in various ways depending on its position in the sky. This reflection of light makes the moon appear as if it is changing sizes. "Waxing" and "waning" are two terms used to describe the moon's phases. To "wax" means to increase or to grow; this "growing" refers to the illuminated part of the moon. To "wane," on the other hand, means to shrink or to be diminished; the "shrinking" is in reference to the part of the moon that is lit up. Many cultures have their own names for the full moon that are still referred to colloquially today. For example, January's full moon is referred to as the "wolf moon" in reference to the howling of hungry wolves during this midwinter time. Another well-known example is the "harvest moon" that is observed each September. This moon acquired its name due to this being the time of the year that autumn's crops are usually harvested.

Learn more about Planets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which planets have no moons?

    A:

    In this solar system, Mercury and Venus have no moons. Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system and only slightly larger than Earth's moon. It is the closest planet to the Sun. Venus is the second closest planet to the Sun and is slightly smaller than Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How many moons are there?

    A:

    There are 146 official moons in the solar system. This does not include the 27 additional celestial objects orbiting planets, the five moons orbiting the dwarf planet Pluto or the tiny moons orbiting celestial bodies other than planets and the asteroids.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Does Venus have moons?

    A:

    Venus is one of only two planets in the solar system to have no moons, the other being Mercury. As of 2014, there are 173 natural satellites known to be in orbit around planets in the solar system, mostly orbiting the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do all planets have moons?

    A:

    Not all planets have moons. In the solar system, Mercury and Venus do not have any moons orbiting them. All of the other planets, including the Earth, have one or more natural satellites.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore