How Long Is The Lunar Cycle?

How long is the lunar cycle

Have you ever looked up in the sky and wondered why the moon changes its appearance almost daily? Sometimes it appears as round as a tortilla and sometimes as thin as a hairline. Fascinating, right? But there’s science behind it. The part of the moon that we see at night changes in a cycle, which is called the lunar cycle. And these changes are caused by the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon. So how long is the lunar cycle? How long does each moon phase last? We will answer all of your queries in today’s article. So stay tuned.

What Is Lunar Cycle?

The lunar cycle, better known as the moon cycle, is the representation of the continuous orbit of the moon around the earth. When the moon orbits the earth, the side which faces the sun is always illuminated and it creates a shadow, which limits the light that is reflected back to the earth.  Hence, with the naked eye, we see just a part of the moon that the sun is illuminating. So when there’s a crescent moon, it means just a small part of the moon is illuminated. A complete lunar cycle, also called lunation, is the time when the moon completely circles the earth.

How Long Is The Lunar Cycle:

Each lunar cycle lasts 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes. This means that the moon takes almost 28 days to complete a full orbit around the earth. Over this course, the moon goes through several phases, which alters its appearance and even the pattern of movement in the sky.

Phases Of The Moon Or Lunar Cycle:

Moon phase is the name that is given to the points in its orbit around the earth. You will be surprised to know that the phase lasts just for an instant as the moon is constantly moving. For instance, the full moon lasts three days on earth, but in reality, it happens just for an instant before it starts waning again.

Astronomers have given eight different names to the phase of the moon cycle, according to how the celestial object appears. The lunar cycle begins and ends with the New Moon Phase. It during this phase the moon is positioned between the sun and the earth and the moon’s reflective surface is not visible to us.

  • New or dark moon. When the moon isn’t available.
  • Waxing Crescent
  • First-quarter, also called half moon
  • Waxing Gibbous
  • Full moon, that’s when we see the entire illuminated part of the moon
  • Waning gibbous
  • Last quarter
  • Waning Crescent

How Long Does Each Phase Last?

No, it isn’t possible to find how long each phase lasts by dividing 12 ½ by 8 to find the length of each phase. That’s because the illumination of the moon steadily decreases or increases all the time.

Lunar Cycle And Astrology:

The Lunar or moon cycle holds significance in astrology as well. Astrology states that the lunar cycle affects the way we feel about things. It’s believed that during the full moon, human beings, both men and women experience dramatic changes in behavior and mood. People become extremely stressed and sensitive to details.

A new moon, on the other hand, bring balance to emotion. It makes one calm and more accepting of the ideas of other people.

Fun Fact About Lunar Cycle:

The phase cycles of the moon are shorter than a full calendar month. So the phase of the moon occurring at the beginning of each month occurs again before the end of the month. So the full moon phase occurs twice in the same month every 2.7 years. This phenomenon is called “Blue Moon”.

We hope your question on how long is the lunar cycle was answered. If you have any queries regarding the lunar cycle, let us know in the comment section. We will try to answer as many as possible.

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1 thought on “How Long Is The Lunar Cycle?”

  1. It’s worth noting that the phases do not complete every 27d 7h (lunar siderial period), but rather every 29d 12h (lunar synodic period). This is because Earth is also orbiting the sun, so the moon must travel further than 360 degrees around its orbit to go from one full moon to the next.


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