Sydney Observatory
Photo by James Horan

Moon Phase Calendar

Use this calendar to follow the changing phases of the Moon.
It’s best to view the Moon through your telescope or binoculars in the week preceding new moon or in the week following new moon as deep shadows outline craters and other topographical features during this time.

Today

- days until next blue moon

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-

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- days until next full moon

- until next blue moon

- until next lunar eclipse

- until next solar eclipse

Moon phase data by US Naval Observatory. Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC Emeritus. Illuminations based on Moon at midday, UT +10hrs. Note: solar eclipses may not be visible from Australia.

For more Moon phase information, see the monthly sky charts on our blog and in the Australasian Sky Guide, which also includes daily Sydney high and low tide times.

Did you know?

    • On the Moon a day lasts for two weeks and a night lasts for two weeks. Daytime temperatures on the surface reach over 100 degrees Celsius and at night the surface temperature drops below -170 degrees Celsius.
    • From Earth we see just one side of the Moon. From the Sun you would see the Moon rotate once in 29.5 days as it orbits Earth. There is no such thing as the dark side of the Moon. Sorry Pink Floyd!
    • We know the Moon raises tides in the oceans of Earth. As the tidal bulge is dragged around Earth by the Moon friction between the water and land slows Earth’s rate of spin. The energy lost by Earth is gained by the Moon resulting in the Moon receding from Earth by 3.8 centimetres every year.
    • Although only one side of the Moon always faces Earth we can see over half of its surface. Small apparent wobbles, or librations, allow us to peek over the poles and around the edges over the course of the lunar months to see 59% of the Moon’s surface.
    • Theoretical modelling shows that the Moon is essential for keeping Earth’s spin axis upright and stable against tipping over. But it’s hard to prove this experimentally.
    • The Sun is 300 times larger than the Moon, but it is also 300 times further away from Earth (at the moment). This cosmic coincidence means the Moon just fully covers the Sun. This we call a total solar eclipse.
    • Hermite crater close to the Moon’s north pole has the coldest measured temperature in the solar system. At -247 degrees Celsius it is colder than Pluto.
    • The Moon is 384,400 kilometres from Earth on average. Light travels at (almost) 300,000 kilometres per second . Light takes 1.1 seconds to travel from the Moon to your eye. You always see the Moon as it was 1.1 seconds ago.
    • The force of gravitational attraction on the Moon is only 17% of that on Earth. So while your mass (measured in Newtons) would be the same on the Moon, if you stood on a set of scales your weight (measured in kilograms) would be much less.
    • We know the Moon raises tides in the oceans of Earth. But did you know the surface of the Earth also moves by up to 400 millimetres per day?
    • How many people went to the Moon? Sadly, some say none. Most say 12. But there were…12 and a bit! Some ashes of the prominent astronomer Eugene Shoemaker were carried aboard the Lunar Prospector space probe which was deliberately crashed into the Moon on 31 July 1999.
    • The Moon is prominent in the lore of many indigenous cultures around the world. Have you contacted your local community to learn theirs?