The third quarter moon marks the halfway point between the full moon and the new moon (NASA

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The sky observers will have to sacrifice some sleep and stay up late at night to catch the half-lit moon in its last quarter phase. It will rise shortly after midnight and will set to the west around 1:00 PM ET, Space.com reported on Saturday.

In this particular stage, known as the three-quarter phase due to its occurrence three-quarters of the way through the moon’s 29.5-day lunar cycle, the moon will exhibit illumination on its western side, facing towards the sun, the report said.

The third quarter moon marks the halfway point between the full moon and the new moon. It occurs when the moon is three-quarters of the way through its orbit around the Earth. From Earth, the third quarter moon rises around midnight and sets around noon, making it visible in the morning sky.

How is the third-quarter moon positioned?

The third-quarter moon is ahead of Earth in its yearly journey around the sun. Earth lags behind the moon by approximately 3.5 hours.

After the third-quarter moon, there will be a decrease in the moon’s illumination leading up to the new moon on July 17. During this time, the sky will be darker, providing a great opportunity to observe deep-sky objects like the recently discovered comet C/2023 E1 (ATLAS).

So, what’s the best time to view the third-quarter moon

The space scientists reveal that the best time to view the third-quarter moon is around 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM ET, when the moon is high in the sky. While you can see various aspects of the moon’s surface during daylight, be cautious not to point any optical devices towards the sun while observing the moon during the day, as it can harm your eyesight.

 

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Updated: 08 Jul 2023, 08:37 PM IST

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