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Breakdown: Why the moon appears to change shape

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 10:16 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Look up into the clear sky on any given night and you are likely to see the Moon. The Moon appears to change shape based on how much of it you can see, provided there is no cloud cover. It also depends on how much of the moon is facing the Sun. The Sun’s light reflects off the Moon which allows you to see it. The Moon doesn’t actually change shape, it’s all about the amount of it that you can see that changes. This is why the Moon appears to change shape.

The Moon doesn’t actually produce any light on it’s own. When you look at the Moon you see the Sun’s light that has reflected off it. The Moon looks like its not moving but but it’s travelling around the Earth. On a clear, starlit night, night the amount of Moon that you can see is dependent on, where it is on its lunar cycle and where the Sun is in relation to the Moon. When the Moon is facing the Sun then it’s fully lit by the Sun’s light. That’s a full moon, if its partially lit then it will be a Crescent moon/Gibbous Moon.

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