Quarter Moon Face

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Quarter moon face is related to the sun and the Earth's position relative to it. Find out about quarter moon face with help from an astrophysics professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Moons & Planets
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez and I'm an astrophysicist. And this is the quarter moon face. So let's say we have the sun in this position and we have sunlight traveling towards earth. And so this is the moon at different parts of the orbit. If the sunlight is illuminating this half and we're looking at it from earth we will see nothing. We will see a shadow. And this is what we generally call a new moon. Now once it moves to a 90 degree and it's perpendicular from the sun and we're looking at it up from here from this direction, we only see a quarter of it illuminated. And this is called the first quarter. So a quarter moon phase only happens when you are perpendicular to the sun. That means you are 90 degrees from the sun. As it moves to this direction we actually see this entire side illuminated. Now one thing to keep in mind is that they're not in a straight line, they're actually kind of inclined. So therefore you still see that side illuminated. And this is called the full moon. And then as it goes to this side you can imagine that you are looking at it upside down from the bottom of the earth. And then this will be the third quarter. So the first and third quarter happen at 90 degrees from the sun. My name is Eylene Pirez and I'm an astrophysicist. And this is a quarter moon face.

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