MNN Galleries

How much do you know about the moon?

By: Anna Norris on Sept. 16, 2013, 12:29 p.m.
Waxing gibbous moon rising behind a Buckeye tree

Photo: Tavi Greiner/Flickr

5 of 12

Gibbous moon

Yes, there's a name for that transitional phase when most of us think the moon is full but it's not quite there yet. Well, now you can be "that person" and point out that unless the moon is 100 percent lit, it's in the gibbous phase. When the illuminated part of the moon is growing larger, approaching the full moon, the phase is known as "waxing gibbous" (like the moon pictured here). When the illuminated part is shrinking, approaching the new moon once again, this phase is known as "waning gibbous."