Waxing Crescent Moon Phase

What is a waxing crescent moon? The waxing crescent moon is defined to occur when the Moon is nearly, but not precisely, on a line with the Earth and Sun. This means that part but less than one-half of the Moon is illuminated by direct sunlight, creating a crescent moon. Because the fraction of the Moon’s disk that is illuminated is increasing, we consider the Moon to be “waxing.” Each new lunar cycle is measured beginning at each new moon and the waxing crescent moon occurs when the Moon is less than one-quarter of the way around the sky (i.e., along its orbit) from new moon.

Waxing Crescent Moon Dates / Next Waxing Crescent Moon

When is the next waxing crescent moon? A waxing crescent moon is seen one day to several days after new moon. The average calendrical month, which is 1/12 of a year, is about 30.44 days, while the Moon’s phase (synodic) cycle repeats on average every 29.53 days. Therefore the timing of the Moon’s phases shifts by an average of almost one day for each successive month. To find out the waxing crescent moon dates, please see the waxing crescent moon calendar below.

Waxing Crescent Moon and The Moon Phases

Waxing Crescent Moon

Waxing Crescent Moon

The waxing crescent moon, happens when the moon is between a 0 and 90 degree angle with respect to the Earth and Sun. So we are seeing less than half of the moon illuminated and more than half in shadow. The word “crescent” refers to the phases where the moon is less that half illuminated. “Waxing” essentially means growing or expanding in illumination. Each evening, as the moon’s orbital motion carries it away from the Earth-sun line, we see more of the moon’s day side.

Each lunar cycle begins with a new moon. As the Moon moves eastward away from the Sun in the sky, we see a bit more of the sunlit side of the Moon each night. We call this waxing. After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half illuminated, so it is a waxing crescent moon. When half of the Moon’s disc is illuminated, we call it the first quarter moon. As the sunlit portion continues to increase, now more than half illuminated, it becomes waxing gibbous moon. When the Moon reaches maximum illumination, a full moon, the Moon has completed one half of the lunar month.

During the second half of the lunar month, the Moon grows thinner each night. We call this waning. The waning gibbous moon phase occurs first, followed by the last quarter moon when half of the Moon’s disc is illuminated. Next is the waning crescent moon, which wanes until the illumination is completely gone; a new moon.

Waxing Crescent Moon Calendar 2016

The waxing crescent moon calendar for 2016 is expressed in Coordinated Universal Time (UT), the international basis for other time zones, and occurs on the days between each new moon and first quarter moon. On these days, the moon rises one hour to several hours behind the sun and follows the sun across the sky during the day. When the sun sets, and the sky darkens, the moon pops into view in the western sky. Astronomers call one lunar cycle a lunation. For waxing crescent moon times in your city, please use the Time Zone Converter. You may also simply subtract five (5) hours to get to U.S. Eastern Time.

Full Moon Year Date Time Day
Wolf Moon 2016 Jan 24 01:46 Sun
Snow Moon 2016 Feb 22 18:20 Mon
Worm Moon 2016 Mar 23 12:01 Wed
Pink Moon 2016 Apr 22 5:24 Fri
Flower Moon 2016 May 21 21:15 Sat
Strawberry Moon 2016 Jun 20 11:02 Mon
Buck Moon 2016 Jul 19 22:57 Tue
Sturgeon Moon 2016 Aug 18 09:27 Thu
Harvest Moon 2016 Sep 16 19:05 Fri
Hunters Moon 2016 Oct 16 04:23 Sun
Beaver Moon 2016 Nov 14 13:52 Mon
Cold Moon 2016 Dec 24 00:06 Sat

Crescent Moon

A crescent moon has nothing to do with Earth’s shadow on the moon. The only time Earth’s shadow can fall on the moon is at full moon, during a lunar eclipse. There is a shadow on a crescent moon, but it’s the moon’s own shadow. Night on the moon happens on the part of the moon submerged in the moon’s own shadow. Likewise, night on Earth happens on the part of Earth submerged in Earth’s own shadow.

Popular Full Moon Calendars

Some popular full moon calendars, in addition to the Waxing Crescent Moon Calendar, include the following: Moon Calendar 2011, Moon Calendar 2012, Moon Calendar 2013, Moon Calendar 2014, Moon Calendar 2015, Moon Calendar 2016, Moon Calendar 2017, Moon Calendar 2018, Moon Calendar 2019, Moon Calendar 2020.

You can also check out our Full Moon Calendar, Lunar Calendar, Lunar Eclipse Calendar and Solar Eclipse Calendar!