MNN Galleries

How much do you know about the moon?

Crescent moon, with a totem pole in the foreground

Photo: Lijuan Guo/Flickr

3 of 12

Crescent moon

A symbol in many cultures, the crescent moon can mark the beginning or the end of the lunar cycle. It's beautiful to behold, but have you ever noticed that sometimes it's sideways, and sometimes it looks like a smile? The moon's path in the Northern Hemisphere changes in summer and winter. The "wet moon," which occurs during the winter, is known as the Cheshire moon for the smile of Lewis Carroll's ornery cat character in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Pictured here is a crescent moon known as a "dry moon," following its summer path, which is also the reason why it looks so large.