why do we see the moon in different shapes

Changing shape of the moon, also called phases of the moon is caused by changes in the part of the moon illuminated by the sun facing the moon. We see moon because of the sunlight reflected by towards the earth. At any time the sun is able to illuminate only half part of the moon. The other half of the moon does not receive any sunlight because of its spherical shape. Depending on the relative positions of sun, moon, and the earth, different proportions of the semi-sphere-shaped illuminated half of the moon faces the earth, causing the shape of the moon visible from the earth to change. On a full moon day, when the moon appears as a complete circle, the earth is positioned directly between the moon and the sun.


Because of this the illuminated surface of the moon fully faces the earth, making the moon appear round. At other the earth is positioned away from the direct connecting sun and moon. Further the earth from this line, smaller is the illuminated part of the moon directed towards, and visible from earth. On a new moon day the earth is positioned farthest from this line joining sun and moon. AS a result the moon is seen as a thin crescent only.
When can we see the moon?


One side of the moon is always lit up by the sun but, it is not always visible to us. As the moon orbits Earth it goes through phases. The phase of the moon is how much of the moon appears to be lit up by the sun while looking from here on Earth. A phase lasts about 28 days. Within a phase if we can see all the moon s lit up side, we call it a full moon. When we can t see any of the lit up side, we call it a dark moon or new moon. PWe cannot see the moon if it s a new moon. The Moon s Phases. As the moon orbits or circles the Earth, its phase changes. PThe shape of the moon appears to change.


PHowever, the moon is the moon, it s just how much of the moon we see that is different. The moon orbits Earth in an anti-clockwise path. PThere are several phases, and so shapes, to pass through before a full cycle is complete. The first phase is the New Moon phase. This is where we can t see any of the lit up side of the moon. It is in shadow. The moon is between us and the sun. As the moon orbits the Earth we gradually see more of the lit up side until finally the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. We then see a full moon. As the moon continues to orbit the Earth we now see less and less of the lit up side.


A note to you and me. Thanks for reading about my take on the phases of the moon. PI Phope you have enjoyed it. PIf you have any info to add, if anything is clearly wrong or I have just missed the plot, please add a comment. PX I m trying to get my head round the shadow. PIf, for example when we see a crescent moon, is it that the lit side of the moon is in shadow? If it s in shadow, where does the shadow come from? Why is it that we only see one side of the moon. PSo, does the moon spin on itself as well as orbiting the Earth,

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