GOOD QUESTION: What is the difference between ‘waxing’ and ‘waning’ moons?

Good Question

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) – In this week’s good question, Larry said: “We hear meteorologists speak of waxing and waning moons on a regular basis. I have no idea what that means. Can Rob educate us?”

Storm Team 2’s Rob Fowler said it’s actually a great term that we all probably need to understand.

“We all look up in the sky, see the moon and wonder what phase it’s in,” he said.

Rob says there are eight phases of the moon. Right now, we’re in the waning crescent phase with a new moon coming up on March 6th.

“Then we go to waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous and back to the third quarter,” he explained.

But what does “waxing and waning gibbous” mean? Rob says crescent is when you can see less than half of the moon illuminated.

“Gibbous, you attach that to either waxing or waning when you see more than half of the moon illuminated,” he said.

Waxing means it’s getting bigger while waning means it’s getting smaller.

“So, you’ve got to look at this whole process,” he said. “It takes about 29 and a half days for the moon to go all the way around the earth—that’s why you can have two full moons in the same month.”

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