The phases of the moon show the passage of time in the night sky. Sometimes at night when we look at the moon, it is full and bright; sometimes it’s just a streak of silvery light. These changes in appearance are the phases of the moon. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, it goes through eight different phases. The four major phases of the moon occur about a week apart, with the full moon being the most dazzling phase.
In May 2022, the phases of the moon will fall on the following dates:
First quarter: May 8
Full Moon: May 16 (total lunar eclipse on the night of May 16/17)
Last quarter: May 22
New Moon: May 30
What is the phase of the moon today?
Although the moon has four different phases each month, it is always changing.
Watching the moon for a month, watch it grow from the new moon to the first quarter of the moon. As it grows, it is known as the waxing moon and gradually increases from the waxing “crescent” (because of its shape) to the first quarter moon. it reaches the full moon stage.
Then he will repeat the steps in reverse order, returning to the new moon. You can see today’s moon phase using the built-in widget on this page, courtesy of In-The-Sky.org.
Moon phase calendar for 2022.
(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Here are the phases of the moon for 2022, according to NASA’s SKYCAL. Times and dates are in UTC format. If you need moon-watching equipment, check out our guide to the best telescopes and the best telescopes for kids.
You can also check out our guide on how to photograph the moon as well as how to photograph a lunar eclipse for major lunar events. There is even a guide on how to photograph a solar eclipse.
If you’re looking for imaging equipment, our best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography guides will help you prepare for your next visit to the moon.
2022 Moon Phases with Dates (Eastern Time) New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter January 2, 13:33 January. January 9, 13:11. January 17, 6:48 p.m. 25. 8:41 February. February 1, 00:46. February 8, 8:50. February 16, 11:57 am. 23, 17:33 March 22, 12:35 March 10, 5:45 March 18, 3:17 March 25, April 1:371, April 2:249, 2:48 April 16, 2:55 April 23, 7:56 April 30 16:28 May 8, 20:21 May 16, 00:14 May 22, 14:43 May 30, 7:30 June 7, 10:48 June 14, 7:52 June 20, 11: 23:00 June 28, 22:52 July , 22:14 July 13 14:37 July 20, 10:18 July 28, 13:55 Aug. Aug 5, 7:06 August 11, 21:36. Aug 19, 00:36 27, 4:17 September 3, 14:08 September 10, 5:59. September 17, 5:52 p.m. October 25, 5:54 p.m. October 2, 20:14. 21:4:55 October. 17, 13:15 Oct 25, 6:49 Nov 1, 1:37 Nov. Nov 8, 6:02 16, 8:27 Nov. November 23, 5:57 p.m. 30, 9:36 December. 7, 23:08 December. 16, 3:56 December. December 23, 5:17. 29, 20:20
(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Bill Dunford)
The moon, like the earth, is a sphere and is always half-illuminated by the sun. When the Moon moves around the Earth, we see a more or less illuminated half. The phases of the moon describe how much of the moon’s disk is illuminated from our point of view.
New Moon: The Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, and the side of the Moon facing us does not receive direct sunlight; it is illuminated only by dim sunlight reflected from the Earth.
Growing Crescent: As the Moon moves around the Earth, the side we see gradually becomes more illuminated by direct sunlight.
First Quarter: The Moon is in the sky at an angle of 90 degrees to the Sun and half illuminated from our point of view. We call this the “first quarter” because the Moon has traveled about a quarter of the way around the Earth since the new moon.
(Image credit: Carl Tate, SPACE.com)
Wax hump: The area of illumination continues to increase. More than half of the Moon’s surface appears to be illuminated by sunlight.
Full Moon: The Moon is 180 degrees from the Sun and is so close to being fully illuminated by the Sun from our perspective. The Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned, but because the Moon’s orbit is not exactly in the same plane as the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, they rarely form a perfect line. When they do, we will have a lunar eclipse when the Earth’s shadow crosses the Moon’s surface.
Waning Moon: More than half of the moon’s surface appears to receive sunlight, but the amount is decreasing.
Last Quarter: The Moon has moved another quarter of its way around the Earth, to its third quarter position. Sunlight now falls on the other half of the visible side of the moon.
Waning Crescent: Less than half of the moon’s surface appears to receive sunlight, and its amount is decreasing.
Finally, the Moon returns to its original new moon position. Now the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun. Usually the moon passes above or below the sun from our point of view, but sometimes it passes directly in front of the sun and we see a solar eclipse.
Related: Infographic: How Moon Phases Work
Additional Moon Phase Resources
NASA’s SkyCal event calendar offers a complete calendar of moon phases, lunar and solar eclipses, and more for the entire calendar year. You can learn more about the 2022 full moons on the Space.com Full Moon Calendar. Our Night Sky Guide has a list of events to watch the sky this month.
SkyCal – SkyEvents Calendar, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
What’s Up – NASA Skywatching Tips
This moon phases help page was updated on April 12, 2022.