The Waning Crescent Moon phase is an intermediate phase, and it's the last of the lunar month. It comes before the New Moon and right after the Third Quarter.
In this phase, the light of the Moon drops until it vanishes completely. Let's find out how it occurs, what it symbolizes, and when we can see it.
What is the Waning Crescent Moon phase?
The Waning Crescent phase occurs when the illumination of the Moon decreases from 49.9% to 0.1%. It is an intermediary phase between the Third Quarter and the New Moon (when the Moon is almost invisible).
The term Crescent refers to its shape. In this phase, the Moon looks like a boat or a banana. Waning means the Moon is getting smaller.
What Does Waning Mean?
Waning means a gradual decrease of the sunlit part of the Moon after the Full Moon. The waning process lasts until the New Moon. It has two phases: the waning gibbous (when the illumination decreases to 50%) and the waning crescent ( the illumination drops to just 2%).
What does the Waning Crescent phase symbolize?
In almost every tradition, the Moon represents intuition, wisdom, birth, and death. It is a potent feminine symbol.
The Moon is also seen as a symbol of the cycle of life. From long before ancient times, we used the lunar month and the Moon cycles to track time and seasons and connect with the Universe.
Under a Waning Crescent Moon, we should rest and let go of the things we don't need anymore. As the Moon is close to finishing its cycle, we are too. We should reflect upon ourselves and our plans for the new lunar month.
What Are the 8 Phases of the Moon?
The Moon's phases are divided into eight descriptions for a better understanding. They represent the amount of illuminated part of the Moon we can see from the Earth.
- The New Moon: The New Moon occurs when the Earth, Moon, and the Sun are aligned with the Moon in the middle. So, the Sun illuminates half of the Moon we cannot see.
- The Full Moon: The Full Moon - The Moon, Earth, and Sun are almost aligned, but the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth so that we can see the entire sunlit part of it.
- The First and Third Quarter: The First Quarter and the Third Quarter are when we can see half of the illuminated part and half of the Moon's shadow part. This is why generally, these phases are known as Half Moon. We can only see half and half because the Moon is at a 90-degree angle concerning the Earth and Sun.
- The Waxing Crescent phase: The Moon is Waxing crescent after the new Moon when the sunlit part increases, but less than a half.
- The Waxing Gibbous phase: The Waxing gibbous is when the sunlit part of the Moon is now more than a half and still increasing.
- The Waning Gibbous phase: After the maximum phase of a Full Moon, the light starts decreasing, called the Waning gibbous phase. This phase lasts until the Third Quarter.
- The Waning Crescent Phase: Following the Third Quarter, lights wane until the New Moon, when it's completely gone. This is the Waning crescent phase.
If you are curious about what the current Moon phase is, click the links down below:
How Do You Tell if the Moon is Waxing or Waning?
It's not very hard to distinguish the waning Moon from the waxing Moon. It doesn't matter where you live on Earth. If you look after the Moon at sunset and you can see it, it means the Moon it's waxing.
In its waning phase, the Moon isn't visible at sunset. It rises later in the night until it reaches the waning crescent phase.
When the Moon is waxing in the Northern Hemisphere, the part in the shadow will be on the left. When the shadow part is on the right, the Moon is waning. For the Southern Hemisphere, the situation is reversed.
Waning Crescent calendar for 2020
If you are curious when you can see the Waning Crescent Moon in 2020, check out the calendar below:
- January: From the 19th until the 22nd
- February: From the 17th until the 21st
- March: From the 18th until the 22nd
- April: From the 17th until the 20th
- May: From the 17th until the 20th
- June: From the 15th until the 19th
- July: From the 15th until the 18th
- August: From the 13th until the 17th
- September: From the 12th until the 15th
- October: From the 12th until the 15th
- November: From the 10th until the 13th
- December: From the 9th until the 12th
Waning Crescent calendar for 2021
Here are the dates when you can gaze at the Waning Crescent Moon in 2021:
- January: From the 8th until the 11th.
- February: From the 6th until the 9th
- March: From the 7th until the 11th
- April: From the 6th until the 9th
- May: From the 5th until the 9th
- June: From the 4th until the 8th
- July: From the 4th until the 7th
- August: From the 2nd until the 6th
- September: From the 1st until the 5th
- October: From the 1st until the 4th, and the last two days of the month
- November: From the 1st until the 3rd, and the previous two days of the month
- December: The first two days of the month, and from 29th until the 31st.
Did you know?
- There are four kinds of lunar months:
Anomalistic - 27 days, 13 hours, 18 minutes, 37.4 seconds. It's the period between one perigee and the next one.
Nodical - 27 days, 5 hours, 5 minutes, 35.9 seconds. It is the time that it takes the Moon to pass through one node and return to it.
Sidereal - 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 11.5 seconds. Using stars as a reference, that's how long it takes for the Moon to circle the Earth.
Synodical - 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.7 seconds. This is the basis for most calendars we use today, and this is how we divide the year. The Moon circles the Earth in this length of time, using the Sun as reference.
- The Sun is 398,110 times brighter than the Moon.
- The Earth is also going through phases, as seen from Moon. If the Moon is Full Moon as saw from our side, the Earth is at a new phase.
- From the Moon, Earth appears to be four times larger than the Full Moon appears to us and could shine from 45 to 100 times brighter than a full moon. Also, the eclipse is reversed. A moon eclipse on our side is a moon eclipse from the Moon.
- In 1645, Michael van Langren started the tradition of applying names to lunar formations. He was an engineer in Brussels who used names of great people, as kings or his patron, Phillip IV of Spain, on his lunar map. Names as Copernicus or Archimedes appear on this map.
- At the Moon, the equator at night can be minus 173 degrees C and at daytime 127 degrees C. Near the poles, there are some craters where the temperature is always near minus 240 degrees C. When the Moon enters the Earth's shadow, temperatures may drop 300 degrees C in less than 90 minutes.