Tonight you can see the last quarter moon in 17 September 2022 – Saturday, will see the moon enter the phase of the last quarter. Also known as the third quarter, it will be half-illuminated from Earth.
Although the names of the last quarter or third quarter might seem confusing at first, as the moon is only half-lit, they refer to the fact the moon has completed 3/4 its orbit around Earth.
At 11:00 p.m. ET (0300 GMT on September 18), the half-lit moon will be visible above New York. It will then disappear at dawn on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 6:19 AM EDT (1019 GMT). The last quarter moon will be visible at this time at an altitude of approximately 74 degrees above ground in the southeast (approximately seven fist widths at arms length).
The lunar cycle takes approximately 29.5 days to complete. The moon can be seen at various stages of illumination at different times during the day.
The last quarter sees the moon rising around midnight, and peaking at the horizon around dawn. It sets at midday.
The last quarter of the lunar cycle is when the moon’s illumination recedes as it undergoes phase changes from the new to the full moon.
As the moon changes from full moon, its most illuminated stage – called the new moon – to its lowest illumination stage (called the new moon), it is believed to be in decline. Because of its orbit, the moon’s lighted side shrinks because it is no longer visible from Earth’s perspective.
After the quarter, the next stage of the moon’s cycle is the waning crescent. The waning crescent will see the moon as nothing more than an arc light, as it is almost back at the point of its orbit where it faces the sun.
The new moon follows this. At that point, the moon’s illuminated face is facing the sun and appears almost invisible from Earth. The moon sets and rises with the sun at this point. The lighted side of a moon then grows, and it begins to rise later every day. This is called waxing. It continues until the next full moon is fully illuminated.
The ‘lunar terminor’ is the division between the light and dark sides of the moon. It marks sunset on the lunar surface during the last quarter. The lunar terminator, on the other hand, shows sunrise on the moon during the first quarter.
The terminator line of Earth, which divides night from day on Earth, is aligned with both the first quarter and the last quarters above the moon’s orbit.
The new moon begins the next lunar cycle on Sept. 25, followed by the next full moon on October 9 and the next quarter moon rising on October 17.
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