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OBJECTIVES To learn the relation between the phase of the Moon and the time it rises and sets. Since the Moon shows clearly visible changes every night, the pattern of its cycle is explored in this lab. EQUIPMENT Stellarium program on your computer. INTRODUCTION What is the relation between the phase of the Moon and the time it rises or sets? Can you see a crescent at midnight? For how many hours will a full Moon be visible? In what part of the sky will you see a first quarter Moon if you went out at 9 p.m. and will its straight edge be towards your left or right? What is “earthshine” and why can you sometimes see a white Moon during the day? When does a Harvest Moon occur and why does it look so big? This lab will help you answer these and other questions related to phases of the Moon. Your text has given an explanation of why you see the different phases of the Moon. Review what is meant by the terms new Moon, full Moon, first quarter, third quarter, waxing and waning crescent, and waxing and waning gibbous. Here are some other facts about the motion of our nearest neighbor. • The Earth and the Moon rotate and revolve counterclockwise. The period of rotation and revolution for the Moon is the same, hence it presents the same face to us on Earth. The lunar “farside” has only been photographed and studied recently after space travel became a reality. • The synodic month is 29.5 days. This is the time it takes the moon to go from one new Moon to the next. This is almost equal to one month. In fact, the word month comes from the word “month.” Hence, in one week the moon goes through one-quarter of its cycle.