The Phases of The Moon

The Phases of the moon are caused by?

The reason for the Phases of The Moon can be hard to grasp for anyone. We are at quite a bad vantage point here on Earth to see exactly what causes them, this is the reason that it took humans several thousand year to figure out exactly what was going on.

On this page i will show you two different images, each one giving a different vantage point of the various stages of the moon cycle. One image from Earth, one from just outside the orbit of the moon and one from above – looking down on both the Earth and Moon, with all of these images you will be able to understand how the phases of the moon occur.

This first image shows the full moon as seen from Earth

 

the phases of the moon are caused by - full moon from earth

the phases of the moon are caused by - full moon from earth

Everyone knows what the full moon looks like……it looks like the full moon.
This next image shows the full moon looking at the earth and moon from above, as if we were in a spacecraft (the moon is at the bottom of the image) .

the phases of the moon are caused by - full moon from above

the phases of the moon are caused by - full moon from above

As you can see it shows both the Earth and Moon illuminated by the sun from the same direction. However, looking down from this view you can also see that half the moon is unlit, as is the earth, this can be a difficult concept to grasp from our normal vantage point here on Earth. But no you can understand that as the moon orbits around the earth, the way it looks from our vantage point change, and this is what causes the phases of the moon – the rotation of the moon around the earth and the change on the sunlight hitting the moon. Hopefully the video below should help you grasp the concept fully and you will understand what the phases of the moon are caused by -