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How much do you know about the moon?

By: Anna Norris on Oct. 21, 2015, 11:12 a.m.
crescent moon

Photo: Ralta Futo/flickr

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Crescent moon

A symbol in many cultures, the crescent moon can mark the beginning or the end of the lunar cycle. Sometimes called a young moon, a waxing crescent moon is seen one day to several days after a new moon. It's always seen in the west after sunset. On the other end of the spectrum, a waning crescent moon is sometimes called an old moon. It's seen in the east before dawn, a day to several days before a new moon. Have you ever noticed that sometimes a crescent moon is sideways, and sometimes it looks like a smile? The moon's path in the Northern Hemisphere changes in summer and winter with the lit part of the moon always pointing toward the sun. The "wet moon," which occurs during the winter, was given that name by early skywatchers who thought it looked like a bowl that could be filled with rain or snow. The wet moon is also known as the Cheshire moon for the smile of Lewis Carroll's ornery cat character in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."