Question: If it is a full moon in Australia, is it also a full moon on the other side of the world?
Answer: The phases of the Moon are the same all around the world. Any two places that can see the Moon at the same time will see the same phase.
Each Moon phase happens at a precise point in the Moon's orbit around the Earth, and hence at a precise moment in time. This is the same moment all over the world, but will be a different local time for every time zone in the world.
For example, the first full moon of the 21st century occurred at 8:24pm on 9 January 2001, Universal Time. In Melbourne this moment was 7:24am on 10 January 2001, Australian Eastern Summer Time.
Of course opposite sides of the world will not be able to see the Moon at the same time. Only one half of the world will be able to see the moon when it is precisely at one of the phases. For the example I gave above, that Full Moon was visible from the United Kingdom, but not from Australia. The Moon had set in the west around two hours before it became full. However since the appearance of the Moon’s phase does not change very quickly, the Moon would have looked very full when it set.
Hi Josh, Imogen, Leila, Sam, Alycia and Obi,
The colour of the Moon is very subtle: it has soft shades of grey, black and white, and regions of browns, blues and yellows. We generally say there are four phases of the Moon. New, First Quarter, Full, and Last Quarter. See the Moon Phases page of our website.
It is actually possible to see the whole Moon during the crescent moon phase. Sometimes there is so much light reflected from the Earth (Earthshine), that it lights up the part of the Moon that is not lit up by the Sun: we see the bright crescent Moon as well as the pale remainder of the Moon. As the Moon phase moves towards the Full moon, the Moon is so bright you can no longer see the arthshine on the Moon. The Moon has to be in the right position for the Earth to reflect the Sun's light onto the Moon's night side; this only happens just after the New Moon. This is called the Da Vinci Glow. You can find out more about it on the NASA website.
The diameter (width) of the moon is 3475.6 km (0.272 x that of Earth). The moon is (on average) 384 400 km from the Earth. The Moon does not have a moon of its own. You can learn more about The Moon on our website.
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Hi Lynne the bright object next to the Moon last Saturday was Venus. Just below it was the planet Mars, which is slightly orange/red in colour and not very bright. There is also a bright star called Spica very near as well, but this is nowhere near as bright as Venus. You can find more info at Museum skynotes: http://museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium/discoverycentre/skynotes/
So when you were near the equator on the 29th December the crescent moon in the early evening would be waxing (just after a new moon) and would be halfway between facing left and right, just like a boat.The red/orange colour is due to atmospheric pollution, most likely due to volcanic ash or bush fire smoke.
There was a New Moon on Monday 23rd so no Moon could be seen for a couple of days either side of that. Check out Skynotes for this information. http://museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium/discoverycentre/skynotes/
The Moon phases are the same the whole world over. The time the Moon rises and sets however vary depending on your location. The Geoscience Australia website has a tool you can use to help you calculate rise and set times.
A new Moon cannot be seen, but will be just visible as a crescent morning the day after very low down in the morning sky. You might also want to have a look at the Museum's Moon infosheet for further information.
Hi Chris - We think the Moon infosheet may help explain this a bit better; if you look at the diagrams on this page showing the phases of the moon, they depict the view from the southern hemisphere. From the northern hemisphere then these are the other way around because we are effectively “upside down”. At first quarter, as you can see the Moon rises about midday so the Sun would be shining on its left side.
Hope this of some help
If you're on the Moon looking at the Earth, then at some part of the day you would be able to see on one side of the Earth Okinawa and on the other side Minot, North Dakota. Conversely at the same time you would be able to see the Moon from both of these places.
If you look at the following website you can calculate the rise and set times of the Moon at any location around the world.: Geoscience Australia - Compute Moonrise & Moonset Times
Okinawa is at latitude 26.5 degrees North and longitude 128 degrees East, and Minot is 48.13 North and 101.7 West, so using the table you can see that on the 10th of January this year the Moon will rise at 21:20 UT (06:20 local time) in Okinawa while at Minot it will rise at 13:15 (7:15 local time) and set at 22:23. This means that on this date both locations will be able to see the moon for an hour.
The phases of the Moon are the same no matter where you are on the Earth at the same time. If the Sun is positioned on the other side of the Earth then it would be night time at your viewing location, and the Moon would still be in its current phase. As the Earth revolves on its axis, we go from day to night, however the Moon, although it does revolve about the Earth, does not move a lot in relation to the Sun, so the phase stays the same no matter where you observe from.
Can you please please please run a second "Travel the Universe" class. Absolutely gutted to have missed out!
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Hi Paula, we try to offer Discover the Night Sky astronomy classes two times a year (March and August). Keep an eye on this page and we'll release the next...