All the phases and eclipses of our natural satellite and a map to identify its most beautiful formations.
Here is the list of all the phases of the Moon in 2020 in legal time for metropolitan France. The constellation indicated is that in which the center of the lunar disc is actually located at the precise time of the phase for observers in metropolitan France; in certain cases, the Moon can therefore be located in the neighboring sign at another time of the given day. Depending on your longitude and your time difference from universal time, the moon phase may arrive for you the day before or the day after the date given here.
First quarter on 3 (Whale)
Full moon on 10 (Gemini)
Last quarter on 17 (Virgo)
New moon on 24 (Capricorn)
First quarter on 2 (Aries)
Full moon on 9 (Leo)
Last quarter on 15 (Libra)
New moon on 23 (Aquarius)
First quarter on 2 (Taurus)
Full moon on 9 (Leo)
Last quarter on 16 (Ophiuchus)
New moon on 24 (Pisces)
First quarter on 1 st (Gemini)
Full moon on 8 (Virgo)
Last quarter on 15 (Sagittarius)
New moon on 23 (Whale)
First quarter on 30 (Cancer)
Full moon on the 7th (Libra)
Last quarter on the 14th (Capricorn)
New moon on the 22nd (Taurus)
First quarter on the 30th (Leo)
Full moon on the 5th (Ophiuchus)
Last quarter on the 13th (Aquarius)
New moon on the 21st (Gemini)
First quarter on the 28th (Virgo)
A partial eclipse of the Moon by the penumbra surrounding the shadow of the Earth occurs on June 5 ; it is very delicate to observe at dusk in mainland France, but easier to notice in the middle of the night in Reunion.
On Sunday June 21, the new moon eclipses the solar disk. Our satellite is traveling a little too far from Earth on this day for its apparent diameter to be sufficient to completely obscure the Sun, so it is an annular eclipse which is visible – with the appropriate means of protection – in a thin sweeping corridor our planet from central Africa to the Pacific Ocean. At most, the annular phase lasts only 38 seconds.
Full moon on the 5th (Sagittarius)
Last quarter on the 13th (Pisces)
New moon on the 20th (Cancer)
First quarter on the 27th (Virgo)
A partial eclipse of the Moon by the penumbra surrounding the shadow of the Earth occurs on July 5 ; it is practically unobservable in Europe.
Full moon on the 3rd (Capricorn)
Last quarter on the 11th (Aries)
New moon on the 19th (Leo)
First quarter on the 25th (Scorpio)
Full moon on the 2nd (Aquarius)
Last quarter on the 10th (Taurus)
New moon on the 17th (Virgo)
First quarter on the 24th (Sagittarius)
Full moon on the 1st (Whale)
Last quarter on the 10th (Gemini)
New moon on the 16th (Virgo)
First quarter on the 23rd (Capricorn)
Full moon on the 31st (Aries)
Last quarter on 8 (Cancer)
New moon on 15 (Libra)
First quarter on 22 (Aquarius)
Full moon on 30 (Taurus)
A partial eclipse of the Moon by the penumbra surrounding the shadow of the Earth occurs on November 30 ; it is not observable in mainland France, but observable in the West Indies and throughout the Pacific Ocean.
Last quarter on 8 (Leo)
New moon on 14 (Ophiuchus)
First quarter on 22 (Pisces)
Full moon on 30 (Gemini)
Monday, December 14, the only total solar eclipse of the year occurs. The disc of the new moon slides in front of the Sun and completely obscures it for more than two minutes. Like that of July 2, 2019, this total eclipse is only observable in Chile and Argentina. The whole occurs in the middle of the day with the Sun at almost 70 ° in height.
Where and when to observe the Moon?
With the exception of the few days that surround the new moon, our neighbor is always visible at one time or another during the day or at night. The table below tells you where to look for it according to its phase. It is usable whatever your place of observation on Earth, but for observers located north of the Tropic of Cancer, the Moon crosses the meridian at the highest point of its trajectory above the southern horizon, while for those located south of the Tropic of Capricorn, it cuts it above the northern horizon.
|phases||gets up||is from heaven||at the highest||west of the sky||goes to bed|
|Evening croissants||just after sunrise||the morning||just afternoon||the afternoon||just after sunset|
|First quarter||at noon||the afternoon||at sunset||at the start of the night||in the middle of the night|
|Growing Gibbous||the afternoon||at sunset||at the start of the night||in the middle of the night||late night|
|Full moon||at sunset||at the start of the night||in the middle of the night||late night||at the Sunrise|
|Descending Gibbous||at the start of the night||in the middle of the night||late night||at the Sunrise||the morning|
|Last quarter||in the middle of the night||late night||at the Sunrise||the morning||at noon|
|Morning croissants||just before sunrise||the morning||just before noon||the afternoon||just before sunset|
In addition, depending on your geographic position and the time of year, Séléné will be higher or lower in the sky. Our satellite indeed follows approximately the trajectory of the Sun and the height of its various phases changes according to the season, as I indicate it in the second table, valid for the latitude of metropolitan France; this table does not take into account the inclination of the lunar orbit, it is therefore sometimes necessary to add or remove up to almost 5 ° to the values indicated.
|First quarter||Full moon||Last quarter|
|February-March-April||70 °||45 °||22 °|
|May June July||45 °||22 °||45 °|
|August-September-October||22 °||45 °||70 °|
|November-December-January||45 °||70 °||45 °|
If you have an instrument and want to observe the Moon, it is obvious that the best periods change according to the phase. The higher our satellite is in the sky, the less the thickness of the atmosphere that its light must pass through and the more the images have a chance of being stable and of good quality. To simplify, we can say that, at European latitudes, the end of winter and the beginning of spring are favorable to the observation of the first quarter, while the last quarter is better placed from the end of summer to the beginning of autumn. But don’t let these indications prevent you from observing the Moon regardless of its height when a beautiful night comes!