Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

Button controls

Help button
Help button: This button will open a window with help information.
Command buttons
Reset button
Reset: reload the applet and reset the parameters.
Rewind button
Rewind: press and hold to advance the applet in reverse.
Pause button
Pause: temporarily stop the action in the applet.
Play button
Play: begin or resume the action in the applet.
Fast forward button
Fast Forward: press and hold to advance the applet.
End button
End: advance the applet to its end.
Speed button
Speed: click to select the number and input a higher number to increase the speed of the rewind and fast forward buttons.
Slider bar
Slider bar: shows the progression through the animation.
Drag controller
Drag controller: click and drag over this symbol to reposition the controller buttons within the applet frame.
Toggle controls
Collapse button: click this button to collapse controller button.

Using the applet

This applet has been designed to help students visualize the phases of the Moon.

The key to understanding the phases of the Moon lies in the arrangement of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Half of the Moon is always lit by the Sun, but the lunar phase will change depending on where the Moon is in its orbit.

* Remember that this is a two-dimensional model, and eclipses do not occur in each orbit because the Moon's orbit is slightly tilted. For more information about eclipses, refer to the eclipses applet.

Download the Flash Applet