New Moon, Moon phase of Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Tonight's actual moon phase and image of the moon (Moon phase tonight)
This page shows the image of today's/tonight's actual moon phase and allows you to follow the moon phases or moon cycles as they are also called.
What is this ghostly image? It's a new moon… a sort of moon that you cannot see from Earth… except during the stirring moments of a solar eclipse.
A new moon is between the Earth and sun. If it is directly between, a solar eclipse takes place. But that doesn't happen every month. Instead, once each month, the moon comes all the way around in its orbit so that it is more or less between us and the sun. This is a new moon: a moon whose lighted half is facing entirely away from Earth.
A new moon rises when the sun rises and sets when the sun sets. It crosses the sky with the sun during the day. Each new lunar cycle is measured beginning at each new moon. Astronomers call one lunar cycle a "lunation."
Read more at EarthSky.org
Interactive moon phases tool
Ready to explore other moon phases? This tool shows the current moon phase and allows you to shift the phases and see how the moon is illuminated at each phase.
Diagram explaining the moon phases
This diagram shows the relative positions of the Sun, the Moon and earth and explains how the different moon phases appear.
The visible part of the moon is the part of the moon's surface that gets hit by the sunlight. The rest of the moon disc is almost invisible.
The moon phases are not caused by the shadow of the earth on to the moon. It is the moon's own shadow at the part of its surface that is not hit by the sunlight.
In other words, the visible "sunny" part is made of the places where there is "day" on the moon and the shadow part is where there is "night".