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When can each phase of the Moon be seen in the UK?

The Moon can sometimes be seen in the daytime sky and sometimes in the night time sky. The moon rises and sets just like the sun does.

The time when the Moon rises and sets depends mostly on its phase.

Please note that the exact time of moonrise is affected by the observer's latitude and longitude. The times below are the Moonrise times for London UK.

Phases of the moon as seen in the Northern Hemisphere
Phases of the moon as seen in the Northern Hemisphere

The 8 Phases of the Moon

The Moon rises in the East and sets in the West

New moon (or dark moon)

The new moon occurs when the moon and the sun are on the same side of Earth. The moon is between the Sun and the Earth and therefore lost in the glare of the sun. We see the side which is not lit, so the moon appears dark to us.

New moon

We can’t see a New Moon because the lit side is facing directly away from the Earth.

The New Moon rises at dawn and sets at sunset.

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Can't be seen
UK Moonrise Times
15 Jan
08:05
14 Feb
07:06
15 Mar
05:41
14 Apr
05:33
14 May
04:52
12 Jun
04:17
11 July
04:15
10 Aug
06:03
8 Sept
06:26
7 Oct
06:47
6 Nov
07:34
5 Dec
07:42

Waxing Crescent Moon
Evening Crescent

The crescent moon is a thin crescent moon.

WaxingThe waxing crescent moon can always be seen soon after sunset low in the West. Although it rises in the East a little after Sunrise, you can't see it because it is too close to the Sun during the day. When the sun sets, and the sky darkens, the moon pops into view in the western sky.

The best time to see a waxing crescent moon is on the second and third days after New Moon when the crescent is fatter and brighter, and further from the Sun.

("Waxing" means increasing, or growing larger.)

Please note: in this phase, you can sometimes see earthshine on the unilluminated portion of the Moon. Earthshine is caused by sunlight being reflected off the Earth and falling onto the Moon.

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Can't be seen
Just after sunset
UK Moonrise Times
18 Jan
08:58
17 Feb
07:46
18 Mar
06:27
17 Apr
06:27
17 May
07:41
15 Jun
08:07
14 July
08:36
13 Aug
10:28
11 Sept
10:49
10 Oct
11:04
9 Nov
10:56
9 Dec
10:34

Quarter moon

The quarter is when the moon has completed one quarter of an orbit around the Earth, one quarter of a full circle (90 degrees) away from the sun.

Half of the moon's surface is visible from Earth and so sometimes this phase is called half moon.

First quarter

First quarterYou can tell when the moon is first quarter because the sun lit side is on the right side as shown on the right. (In Australia and other Southern Hemisphere countries it would look like the left side is lit).

A First Quarter Moon rises in the East around noon and sets in the West around midnight. At sunset, you’ll find a First Quarter Moon high above the southern horizon.

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Noon
Afternoon
Dusk
Evening
Midnight
UK Moonrise Times
23 Jan
10:13
22 Feb
09:53
23 Mar
09:46
21 Apr
11:11
20 May
11:47
19 Jun
13:42
18 Jul
14:12
16 Aug
14:34
15 Sept
15:30
14 Oct
14:42
13 Nov
12:53
13 Dec
11:45

Waxing Gibbous Moon

Waxing GibbousA gibbous moon is a very bright moon.

A waxing gibbous Moon rises in the East during the afternoon, passes due South in the evening, and sets in the West just before dawn.

The word gibbous comes from a root word that means hump-backed. You can see the hump-backed shape of the waxing gibbous moon.

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Afternoon
Dusk
Evening
Midnight
before dawn
UK Moonrise Times
26 Jan
12:01
25 Feb
13:23
26 Mar
13:52
24 Apr
15:23
24 May
17:14
22 Jun
17:41
22 Jul
18:50
20 Aug
18:11
19 Sept
17:26
26 Oct
19:22
17 Nov
13:55
16 Dec
12:35

Full moon

The Full Moon is when the Earth is between the sun and the moon.

Full Moon

Full moonFull moon always comes about two weeks after new moon, when the moon is midway around in its orbit of Earth, as measured from one new moon to the next.

A Full Moon is the only moon phase that shines the whole night through.

A Full Moon that rises at sunset and sets at sunrise and is visible all night long from moonrise to moonset. It can be seen in the South near midnight.

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Dusk
Evening
Midnight
before Dawn
Dawn
UK Moonrise Times
29 Jan
15:57
28 Feb
17:52
30 Mar
20:38
28 Apr
20:57
27 May
21:07
26 Jun
21:34
26 Jul
20:55
24 Aug
19:35
23 Sept
18:27
23 Oct
17:30
21 Nov
15:33
21 Dec
16:04

Waning gibbousWaning Gibbous Moon

A gibbous moon is a very bright moon.

A waning gibbous Moon will rise in the east well after sunset, passing due South in the early dawn hours, and setting in the West sometime after dawn.

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Evening
Midnight
before dawn
Dawn
Morning
UK Moonrise Times
04 Jan
21:30
03 Feb
23:16
04 Mar
23:33
03 Apr
00:39
31 May
00:00
30 Jun
23:05
30 Jul
21:56
28 Aug
20:35
27 Sept
19:55
26 Oct
19:22
25 Nov
19:39
25 Dec
21:31

Last Quarter moon

The quarter is when the moon has completed one quarter of an orbit around the Earth, one quarter of a full circle (90 degrees) away from the sun.

Half of the moon's surface is visible from Earth and so sometimes this phase is called half moon.

Last quarter

Last QuarterA third or last quarter moon shows the sunlit side of the moon on the left. (This would be on the opposite side for Australia)

The last quarter moon rises around midnight and sets around mid-morning. So unless you're a late-owl, you've probably never even seen this moon.

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Midnight
before Dawn
Dawn
Morning
Noon
UK Moonrise Times
5 Feb
00:37
7 Mar
01:58
6 Apr
03:09
6 May
02:22
4 Jun
00:59
4 Jul
00:00
3 Aug
23:17
1 Sept
22:35
1 Oct
23:42
30 Oct
00:00
28 Nov
23:43
28 Dec
00:14

Waning crescentWaning crescent moon
Morning Crescent

The waning crescent moon rises a couple of hours before the sun rises and is barely visible all day long and then sets a couple of hours before the sun. (The best time to see it is just before sunrise.)

East
Southeast
South
Southwest
West
Just before dawn
Can't be seen
UK Moonrise Times
11 Jan
05:15
09 Feb
04:59
11 Mar
04:36
09 Apr
04:18
09 May
03:07
08 Jun
01:59
07 Jul
00:47
06 Aug
00:44
04 Sept
00:41
04 Oct
02:28
02 Nov
01:56
02 Dec
03:48


If you are watching the moon ...

Please note that after the full phase, the moon won't rise until after sunset and rises later each night. 

When it gets too late, get up just after sunrise and watch the moon continue east. 

When it gets close to crescent phase again, you may need to get up before sunrise to see earth shine again

2010 Moon Calendarnext page
previous pageWhy does the Moon change shape?
icon moon Introduction to phases icon moon Tips for Moon watching
icon moon Shapes of the Moon icon moon Moon around the world
icon moon Time to see each phase icon moon Facts about the Moon
icon moon Moon Calendar 2010 icon moon Moon animation

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