Waxing Gibbous

The Waxing Gibbous phase is one of the secondary phases of the Moon.

There are eight phases: four primary phases( the New and Full Moon, the First and Third Quarter) and intermediate ones ( The Waning Crescent and Gibbous and the Waxing Crescent and Gibbous).

Even though we call them secondary phases, they occupy 21.6% of a lunar month. Let's see what a Waxing Gibbous phase means, what does it symbolize, and when can we see it.

What is Waxing Gibbous Moon Phase?

The Waxing Gibbous is an intermediate phase of the Moon that starts right after the First Quarter when the illumination is 50%.

The name Gibbous comes from the Moon's shape, which is less than a Full Moon but more extensive than the Third Quarter's semicircle shape.

Waxing means that the Moon is getting bigger. In this phase, the Moon's illumination increases from 50.1% to 99.9%.

What Does a Waxing Gibbous Symbolize?

The Waxing Gibbous Moon symbolizes the final steps you have to make to finish your work, the final stages of your project. It is the time when you can see the light from the end of the tunnel, but also the time for the final stretch and sprint to finish what you have started until the Full Moon so that you could enjoy the satisfaction of your hard work.

How Does a Waxing Gibbous Moon Affect Us?

Under the Waxing Gibbous Moon, you can feel the urge to change the direction of your life or your project. It is important not to resist this feeling. Instead of fighting, embrace it and trust it because only good things will happen if you do so. Some sacrifices will likely be needed to benefit from the reevaluation.

What is the Difference Between a Waxing Gibbous Moon and a Waning Gibbous Moon?

In the Waxing Gibbous phase, most of the Moon is visible from Earth, its illumination increasing every night until the Full Moon. On the other hand, the Waning Gibbous phase is when the Moon's light starts to wane, and the surface we can see is steadily shrinking until it reaches the Last Quarter phase.

In the Waxing Gibbous phase, the sunlit part of the Moon is at the West and in the Waning Gibbous phase at the East.

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.

In the Northern Hemisphere, when the Moon is waxing, 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.

What is the Waxing Gibbous Moon Schedule for 2020?

If you want to watch the Waxing Gibbous phase in 2020, here is the list with the every month  schedule for 2020:

  • January: From the 5th until the 8th, with maximum visibility of 94%
  • February: From the 4th until the 7th, with visibility between 74% to 96%.
  • March: From the 4th until the 8th, with maximum visibility at 96%.
  • April: From the 3rd until the 6th. The maximum visibility will be at 97% on the last day of the phase.
  • May: From the 2nd until the 5th, with maximum visibility at 95%.
  • June: From the 1st until the 3rd, with maximum visibility at 93%, but also the last day of the month.
  • July: The first three days and the last three days of the month.
  • August: On the 1st and on the last five days of the month, with the peak of illumination at 98%.
  • September: From the 26th until the 29th, with maximum illumination at 95%.
  • October: From the 25th until the 29th, with the peak of illumination at 96%
  • November: From the 24th until the 28th. The illumination will be at 97%.
  • December: From the 24th until the 28th, the maximum illumination will be 98%.

What is the Waxing Gibbous Moon Schedule for 2021?

Check out the list below if you are curious when the Waxing Gibbous phase happens in 2021:

  • January: From the 23rd until the 26th
  • February: From the 21st until the 25th
  • March: From the 23rd until the 26th
  • April: From the 22nd until the 25th
  • May: From the 9th until the 12th
  • June: From the 21st until the 24th
  • July: From the 19th until the 22nd
  • August: From the 17th until the 20th
  • September: From the 15th until the 19th
  • October: From the 15th until the 18th
  • November: From the 13th until the 17th
  • December: From the 13th until the 17th

How Long Does a Waxing Gibbous Last?

Each of the four main phases( The New Moon, the First and the Third Quarter, and the Full Moon) of the Moon last 3.4% of its cycle, but the four additional phases( the Waxing Crescent and Gibbous and the Waning Crescent and Gibbous) last 21.6% of the length of the cycle.

Considering this, the Waxing Gibbous phase lasts for 6.375 days (from 53.4% to 96.4% lit). What is the Moon phase today? Find out here. If you are curious about the Moon phase of tomorrow, check this out. What was the Moon's phase yesterday? Find out here.

What Comes After Waxing Gibbous?

The next phase after the Waxing Gibbous is a primary one, the Full Moon. In this phase, the Moon is at its most massive and brighter point, as seen from the Earth. The Full Moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon are aligned on opposite sides of the Earth.

The Full Moon lasts for two or three nights with an illumination of 99% or 100%. Practically, the Full Moon lasts just for a moment, but it appears full much longer because it is highly illuminated by the Sun.

Did You Know?

- It doesn't matter where you are on Earth. The same area of the Moon is illuminated, but depending on your location, the date, and the time, the sunlit part of the Waxing Gibbous Moon may appear on the bottom, the top, the left, or the right.

- The line that separates the illuminated and the dark areas of the Moon is known as the terminator.

- Because the Waxing Gibbous is an intermediate phase of the Moon, there is no symbol in the calendar representing it. Only the primary phases ( The Full Moon, the New Moon, the First and Third Quarter) have symbols. These symbols may be confusing for the Southern Hemisphere people because they reflect the Moon's appearance in the Northern Hemisphere.

-There are 4 kinds of lunar months:

  1. Anomalistic - 27 days, 13 hours, 18 minutes, 37.4 seconds. It's the period between one perigee and the next one.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


  1. Timeanddate
  2. Earthsky
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Astronomy.swin.edu

Image Sources:

  1. https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8477/8215508746_903eefd4cf.jpg
  2. https://mk0astronomynow9oh6g.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Moon_Ade_Ashford_11Jan2014_940x705.jpg
  3. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/27/fe/c3/27fec395f9b5ba44c8cf2c49e2990bb3.jpg
  4. https://www.thoughtco.com/thmb/jgfbVjZ46mEK_Sw0yezmQf4Z9h4=/3728x2796/smart/filters:no_upscale()/moon_phases-58b84a765f9b5880809d8d4d.png