Catch a glimpse of the half-lit moon in its third quarter phase today (Image Credit: Space.com)
The moon will be half-lit tonight as it reaches its third quarter phase.
This phase, also known as the last quarter, marks the halfway point between the full moon and the next new moon which will occur on June 18.
From New York City, the half moon will rise early in the first hours after midnight on Saturday (June 10) and will unfortunately set around midday, making this third quarter moon best for morning observations. The new moon will be joined in the sky by the ringed gas giant Saturn as the pair are still quite close together coming on the heels of a conjunction that occurred on Friday (June 9).
Just make sure that if you attempt a daytime observation of the moon or Saturn that you take the proper precautions not to point any optics in the direction of the sun, which could cause vision damage.
The last full moon, June’s Strawberry moon, occurred a week ago on Saturday (June 3). The moon has been waning ever since, meaning the illuminated portion of its face has been shrinking to the half moon visible in the morning sky today.
This waning will continue while our natural satellite heads into the new moon, at which point it will appear completely dark as it reaches a point in its orbit directly between Earth and the sun, with its shadowed side pointing towards our planet. New moons are visible when they cross the face of the sun during solar eclipses.
And if you want to take photos of the moon or the night sky in general, check out our guides on how to photograph the moon or the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s Note: If you get a great picture of the third quarter moon and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.