Free Daily Moon Phases Website Module
Past & Future Moon Phase Calendars
The free moon module shown above is pretty useful. But if you'd like additional features like monthly calendars, upcoming full moon / new moon info, and other details, download a copy of QuickPhase for use anytime on your personal computer.
I created it, so I couldn't be biased :-) ... but it's a big time-saver if you're looking at the moon phases regularly. Plus it's attractive. Most other moon phases calendar applications are either unwieldy, ugly, complicated, or inconvenient because you have to access a website to use it. As I've used it, I found an unexpected side benefit -- a handy general purpose calendar for looking at future dates, since it seems like I never have a wall calendar.
Here are a few core features:
Moon Phase Screensavers & Moon Products
Take a look at these 3D moon screensavers, software and other moon products. Some great gift ideas! The 3D screen savers are amazing.
Brief Explanation of the Moon Phases
The phases of the moon are caused by the relative positions of the earth, sun, and moon. The moon goes around the earth in 27.3 days, or 27 days 7 hours 43 minutes, on average. This measurement is relative to the stars and is called the sidereal period or orbital period. However, because of the earth's motion around the sun, a complete moon cycle (New Moon to New Moon) appears to earthbound observers to take a couple of days longer: 29.5305882 days to be exact. This number is called the synodic period or "lunation", and is relative to the sun.
The sun always illuminates the half of the moon facing the sun (except during lunar eclipses, when the moon passes through the earth's shadow). When the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the earth, the moon appears "full" to us, a bright, round disk. When the moon is between the earth and the sun, it appears dark, a "new" moon. In between, the moon's illuminated surface appears to grow (wax) to full, then decreases (wanes) to the next new moon. The edge of the shadow (the terminator) is always curved, being an oblique view of a circle, giving the moon its familiar crescent shape.
(some of above information courtesy of NASA http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov)
Other Lunar Phases Information
(all links open in the same new window)
USNO moon phase data - U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department website, a great all-around online tool for "raw" data and information about the sun, moon, and starsLunar Eclipse Information
Mr. Eclipse - breathtaking eclipse photos, both lunar and solar, probably the best eclipse photography site anywhereEducation / Classroom Moon Phases Activities
K-12 lunar phases activity from NASA - rather than use chalkboard diagrams to illustrate the phases, this activity uses actual objects (pencil, styrofoam ball) to help students grasp the concepts; Newton's Apple has a similar but more detailed moon phase lesson plan for elementary-age studentsThere are many theories and thoughts about the effects of the moon on people, animals, and the natural world. Here are a few interesting links:
moon and the tides - this is a concise page on how the moon affects the tides by its phase (full moon, new moon, etc) and its position (perigee, apogee)Other:
all about the moon - here's a website you'll want to watch for almost anything moon related including a moon phases calendar
For more information, try a Google search of this website: