Asked by: Clemencia Schwingschlagl
science space and astronomy

What is the changing appearance of the moon as seen from Earth?

Last Updated: 18th May, 2020

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The revolution of the Moon around theEarthmakes the Moon appear as if it ischanging shape inthe sky. This is caused by the differentangles from which we seethe bright part of the Moon'ssurface. These are called"phases" of the Moon.

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Just so, what causes the changing appearance of the moon from Earth?

As the moon orbits –the curved path ofacelestial object or spacecraft around a starorplanet—Earth, it appears as though the moonischanging its shape in the sky. This is because asthemoon changes its position, the amount of sunlightreflectedback to Earth also changes.

One may also ask, does our view of the moon change? Our Moon's shape doesn't reallychange— it only appears that way! The“amount” ofMoon that we see as we look fromEarth changes in acycle that repeats about once a month(29.5 days). The relativepositions of our Sun, Earth, andMoon, cause thesechanges.

Also question is, what are the changes in the moon appearance called?

This synchronisation is called tidal lockingandis a result of Earth's gravitational effect on theyoungMoon when it was forming. During its ellipticaljourneyaround Earth, the Moon moves through 'phases', theterm weuse to describe how much of the lunar discappearsilluminated as seen from Earth.

Does the Earth go through phases as seen from the moon?

Changing Earth phases, seen fromthemoon So you'd have to be on that side to see anyEarthat all. But from any part of the moon's nearside, you couldsee Earth wax and wane – just as themoon doesas seen from our world. Both theEarth and themoon are always half illuminated bythesun.

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