Southern Hemisphere Lunar Phases

The Moon moves about 15 degrees (almost a hand span) across the sky from from night to night. The side of the Moon toward the Sun is lit, so before full moon the left side of the Moon (for Southern hemisphere viewers) is the lit side. The right side of the moon is lit after full moon.

The Moon looks different in the Southern Hemisphere than it does in the Northern Hemisphere. That's because folk in the Northern Hemisphere view the Moon upside down. The following images taken by Maurice Collins show the Moon the way it ought to look, at least for Southern Hemisphere observers. See the bottom of the page for images of (near) new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter moon.


Moon Phases for 2018, New Zealand dates and times

New Moon First quarter Full Moon Last quarter
Date and times NZDT = UT + 13 hours
    2 Jan 2018 15:24 9 Jan 2018 11:25
17 Jan 2018 15:17 25 Jan 2018 11:20 1 Feb 2018 2:27 8 Feb 2018 4:54
16 Feb 2018 10:05 23 Feb 2018 21:09 2 Mar 2018 13:51 10 Mar 2018 0:20
18 Mar 2018 2:12 25 Mar 2018 4:35 1 Apr 2018 1:37  
Date and times NZST = UT + 12 hours
      8 Apr 2018 19:18
16 Apr 2018 13:57 23 Apr 2018 9:46 30 Apr 2018 12:58 8 May 2018 14:09
15 May 2018 23:48 22 May 2018 15:49 30 May 2018 2:20 7 Jun 2018 6:32
14 Jun 2018 7:43 20 Jun 2018 22:51 28 Jun 2018 16:53 6 Jul 2018 19:51
13 Jul 2018 14:48 20 Jul 2018 7:52 28 Jul 2018 8:20 5 Aug 2018 6:18
11 Aug 2018 21:58 18 Aug 2018 19:49 26 Aug 2018 23:56 3 Sep 2018 14:37
10 Sep 2018 6:02 17 Sep 2018 11:15 25 Sep 2018 14:52  
Date and times NZDT = UT + 13 hours
      2 Oct 2018 22:46
9 Oct 2018 16:47 17 Oct 2018 7:02 25 Oct 2018 5:45 1 Nov 2018 5:41
8 Nov 2018 5:02 16 Nov 2018 3:54 23 Nov 2018 18:39 30 Nov 2018 13:19
7 Dec 2018 20:20 16 Dec 2018 0:49 23 Dec 2018 6:49 29 Dec 2018 22:34

Dates and times modified from GUIDE 8


Moon Phases for 2017, New Zealand dates and times

New Moon First quarter Full Moon Last quarter
Date and times NZDT = UT + 13 hours
  6 Jan 2017 8:47 13 Jan 2017 0:34 20 Jan 2017 11:13
28 Jan 2017 13:07 4 Feb 2017 17:19 11 Feb 2017 13:33 19 Feb 2017 8:33
27 Feb 2017 3:59 6 Mar 2017 0:32 13 Mar 2017 3:54 21 Mar 2017 4:58
28 Mar 2017 15:57      
Date and times NZST = UT + 12 hours
  4 Apr 2017 6:40 11 Apr 2017 18:08 19 Apr 2017 21:57
27 Apr 2017 0:16 3 May 2017 14:47 11 May 2017 9:43 19 May 2017 12:33
26 May 2017 7:45 2 Jun 2017 0:42 10 Jun 2017 1:10 17 Jun 2017 23:33
24 Jun 2017 14:31 1 Jul 2017 12:51 9 Jul 2017 16:07 17 Jul 2017 7:26
23 Jul 2017 21:46 31 Jul 2017 3:23 8 Aug 2017 6:11 15 Aug 2017 13:15
22 Aug 2017 6:30 29 Aug 2017 20:13 6 Sep 2017 19:03 13 Sep 2017 18:25
20 Sep 2017 17:30      
Date and times NZDT = UT + 13 hours
  28 Sep 2017 15:54 6 Oct 2017 7:40 13 Oct 2017 1:26
20 Oct 2017 8:12 28 Oct 2017 11:22 4 Nov 2017 18:23 11 Nov 2017 9:37
19 Nov 2017 0:42 27 Nov 2017 6:03 4 Dec 2017 4:47 10 Dec 2017 20:51
18 Dec 2017 19:30 26 Dec 2017 22:20    

Dates and times modified from GUIDE 8


The following images taken by Maurice Collins show the Moon as new(ish), first quarter, full moon and last quarter. The Moon takes about a month to go from new moon through its various phases and back to new moon. Indeed, the word month derives directly from that cycle.

The details on the moon change dramatically from day to day. Indeed even from hour to hour the change in details can be facinating with some features only observable for a few hours at the right phase. Binoculars or a small telescope are fine as a starting point for observing the Moon.

 

This two and a half day old Moon is about as soon after new moon that a good lunar image can be obtained. Any earlier and the Moon is too close in the sky to the Sun.

 

The lunar cycle takes close to four weeks so seven days is a quarter of the way through the cycle, first quarter, even though the Moon is half lit. Notice how the detail increases toward the terminator (the day/night or light/dark line) where the shadows cast by lunar features are longer - think morning/evening shadows.

 

Two weeks in is half way through the cycle and the Moon is fully lit. At full moon the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth so the Moon rises as the Sun sets, and sets as the Sun rises. During full moon shadows are short on the Moon (think midday shadows on Earth) so very little crater detail can be seen, but "seas" and the rays from large craters are easy to see.

 

Week three of four and last quarter. You'll need to stay up late or get up early in the morning to observe the Moon now. The last quarter Moon rises near midnight.