||It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Phases of the Moon. (Discuss)|
Throughout the month,the moon goes through lunar phases. A lunar phase is a "transformation" that the moon goes through. Each lunar phase can be identified by the appearance of the moon and the time of the month.
There are 8 total phases that the moon undergoes(does). At first, the moon is invisible, because it is a new moon. This starts out the cycle. The moon, however, soons shows itself after a couple of days. The next phase is a Waxing Crescent. After that, the moon comes out of the darkness and becomes a half moon. The next step is a gibbous, which is about 3/4, or 75%, of the moon showing. The last waxing phase is the full, complete moon. When that is all done, the moon shrinks, and every phase listed is repeated again, except the moon is getting smaller as opposed to larger. Finally, it restarts the cycle again.
These changes happen because the moon revolves, or moves, slowly around the moon. When the moon is shown as a crescent,half moon,etc., it is because the 2 different hemispheres of Earth are looking at different, illuminated parts of the moon. So, astronomers (people who look at the sky)in the Northern Hemisphere may see a Waxing Gibbous, but people in the Southern Hemisphere will look up and probably see a Waxing Crescent.