(Frequently Asked Questions)
Note: This FAQ is intended for adults and to give teachers some background so that they can better teach lessons about the moon. The FAQ is not intended to be read by elementary-age students since many of the concepts are too abstract for them to understand yet. Adults, if you are confused by the answers below, don't feel bad: these concepts are difficult to explain/learn through words and diagrams! Send us a question and we'll keep trying!
- Does the moon rotate on an axis like the earth?
- Does the moon have day and night?
- Why isn't the moon visible every night (or every day)?
- Are the phases different in the northern and southern hemispheres?
- Why don't the phases of the moon happen on the same day each month?
- So exactly how long does it take the moon to orbit the Earth?
- If I observe the moon at noon, and then again that evening, would the phase be the same?
- What causes the moon to shine?
- Wouldn't the earth block the light from the sun to the moon?
- Could light from the sun bounce off the earth and hit the moon?
- Is there a cute way to remember the phase terms? I am always mixing up waxing and waning. Also some people say "no moon" for new moon.
- Would the earth appear to go through phases for an observer on the moon?
- Does the moon rise and set at the same time each day?
- Why isn't the quarter moon called a half moon?
- If we are seeing a full moon here in the United States, would people in India see the full moon?
- Why does the Harvest Moon look orange when it rises?
- Do the times on moon calendars apply to my time zone?
- If we were at the North Pole, when would we see the moon?
- Which phases of the moon can we see during the day?
- Does the moon have a North Pole?
- Why is the crescent moon at sunset sometimes tilted like a backward "C", and sometimes flat on its back like a "U"?
- Why does the Moon wobble?