What are the Moon phases and their influences on Earth?

Expert Answers
enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The word "lunatic" derives from the latin word "luna," which means moon.  The word "moon" itself comes from Anglo-Saxon;  the modern English word "month" comes from "moonth," describing one cycle of the Moon's phases around the Earth. During full Moon nights, substantial sunlight is refected off the Moon surface towards the Earth, bright enough for people to be walking around in the middle of the night acting crazy.  There are about 13 of these lunations, or full-moon periods during the course of a solar year. Only during a New (or Dark) Moon can a solar eclipse occur.

The center of gravity in the Earth-Moon system is well below the Earth's surface, causing friction in the interior of the Earth, which is slowing its rotation, causing a longer day.  This effect is tiny, but cumulative.  While the Earth slows its rotation, the Moon slowly moves further away due to the angular momentum forces. Because these effects are so slow, nothing by normal means has been perceptible during all of human history.

More immediately noticeable to us are the "tides," but that word is almost a misnomer.  The Moon does not pull the world's waters back and forth; there's instead a permanent water bulge facing the Moon, through which the Earth rotates, giving us the appearance of water movement.  As different land masses rotate directly under the Moon, they also bulge, but much less than the water does. So the land, like the water, actually expands and contracts.

The most influence the Moon Phases have is not upon the Earth, but upon the people on the Earth. Watching this cyclicly changing celestial body inspired the creation of goddesses and religions, as well as songs and poetry into our own time.

giorgiana1976 | Student

   Moon phases are given in relation to the Earth-Sun position. The phases begin with the new moon when is observed only  an extremely thin horn, then it grows and reaches the first quarter. The bright side continues to grow until it reaches the full moon that, after a period, will decrease and will appear the last quarter. This alternation is called moon cycle. The cycle ends with three days in that moon is not illuminated and it can no longer be seen on the sky, with the naked eye.Phases of the Moon have an impressive influence on us. We can easily see the increase in energy generated during the full moon during the month and the decrease of energy during the new moon . Full Moon has the connotation of the most diverse on the basis that they were created legends, myths, etc. In this period the full moon scientists have observed an increase in feelings stirring. During the month of November is going the other way around, that are perceived sensations of calm and serenity. Also was observed  the moon influence over the tidal waves . This is the most relevant evidence on the effect of the Moon on Earth .

krishna-agrawala | Student

Phases of Moon refers to the the cyclical changes in shape of moon as seen from Earth. During a cycle of one lunar month the shape of moon changes gradually from a thin crescent to a full circle and then back to the thin crescent shape. These changes are not really changes in the size or shape of the Moon. They are caused by variations in  sunlit part of the Moon visible from the Earth.

When the moon is between Sun and the Earth, its sunlit side is turned away from Earth and therefor most of it is not visible. In this case the Moon appears to be the thinnest. This phase of moon is called new moon. Each day, as a result of combined movements of Moon and Earth, more and more sunlit part of the moon is turned toward Earth, which results in the size of the moon increasing till in a period of approximately a fortnight the Moon comes between Sun and the Earth, exposing the entire sunlit surface of moon to earth. In this position the moon appears to be a completely round disk. This phase of moon is called full moon. In the next fortnight the shape of moon visible from earth again gradually reduces to a thin crescent. This completes a cycle of phases of Moon.

The phases of sun do not have any direct influence on Earth. However, the position of moon relative to Earth and Sun, which determines the phases of the Moon, affect the magnitudes of high and low tides on Earth. The magnitudes of highest and lowest tides are maximum when when the moon and Sun are on the same side of the Earth, and minimum when when the moon and Sun are on the opposite side of the Earth.

neela | Student

Earth has a moon or satellite orbiting around us. Earth moon system  orbits around the sun. The moon orbits around the earth in about 27.32 days (w.r.t stars), and synodically in 29.53 days (wrt sun earth line). The moon , compared to sun,is  390 times nearer to us.On a new moon day the moon and sun are almost on the same direction and the moon is not visible due to sun's brightnes. But, when the moon   moves away from the earth sun line, the moon is at different angle and the partly visible by the visible brightnes. The visible area (from earth) of the moon's disc is increasing day by day and maximum moon's surface comes to our visibility on the full moon day on about 29.53/2 =14.76 days after the new moon phase.So,when the moon and sun are in postion of exact opposite sides of the earth, it is the full moon.From new moon to full moon,it is the bright half of the synodical period. The brightness of the moon then wanes during other half synodic period of the moon. The brightness of the moon is the visibility of the reflection of the sun light by the moon, which depends upon the apparent angular postion of sun-eath line to earth-moon line. The variations in brightness of the moon are called the phases of the moon. The influence of the postions of moon are there definitely at least on gravitational aspect on water in ocean. . We can see very vey high tides in sea on new moon  and Full moon phases, and relatively weeker tides on other phase days.

astrosonuthird | Student

Everybody is right. You can use the abouve information.

versatilekamini | Student

Moon doesn't generate any light itself; it just reflects the light of the Sun. The revolution of the Moon around the Earth makes the Moon appear as if it is changing shape in the sky. This is caused by the different angles from which we see the bright part of the Moon's surface. These are called "phases" of the Moon. Of course, the The Moon passes through four major shapes during a cycle that repeats itself every 29.5 days. The phases always follow one another in the same order. There are many phases of moon. These are as follows:

1) New Moon (2) Waxing Crescent Moon (3) Quarter Moon (4) Waxing Gibbous Moon (5) Full Moon (6) Waning Gibbous Moon (7) Last Quarter Moon (8) Waning Crescent Moon