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When is the moon overhead?

Lunar Knowledge for Writers

This was originally published at Associated Content. The website has vanished so I'm reprinting here.

How many times have you read a poetic description of a crescent moon high overhead at midnight, shining down on a lover's tryst or a detective's midnight foray?

Have you ever seen a crescent moon high overhead at midnight? No. That's because it doesn't happen.

The moon rises and sets at specific times, according to what phase it is in. Usually, the moon is described as having four phases:

Each of these moon cycles dances with the sun as follows:

moon phases

When you are writing, you want to strive for authenticity in as much as possible. There are many places online where you can find out the dates of the moon phases for any year, as well as the sun's rising and setting times. My favorite for sun rise/set and moon rise/set is the U.S. Navy's "Sun or Moon Rise/Set Table for One Year". The U.S. Navy also offers moon phase tables. If you print out any year's data, you can easily see the correlation I've made above.

moon graphic source

All material on this site is copyright (c) by Gevera Bert Piedmont except where noted. All rights reserved. Contact me for permission to republish. Information on this site is for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy! })i({

Page created: 0-Kankin 8-Manik (20 December 2006)
Page modified: 17-Kankin 6 Cauac (4 January 2014)