WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Once upon a time, you supplied the phase of the moon in laymen terms. The simple to understand phase descriptions have been replace by the not so clear "Moon Phase: 20/29." Now I'm sure my own ignorance keeps me from connecting the numerical data and the laymen terms, but I would still prefer waxing gibbous to ##/##. Is there any chance for a reinclusion of the descriptions?

Posted April 9, 2007

MIKE MOSS SAYS:      Todd,    I was unable to find the numerical style listing you mentioned on our site, but I may not have looked in every possible place. Our primary location for showing moon phase is on the "Almanac" page, and when I looked today there was a graphic illustration of the moon showing it to be slightly gibbous. However, there is no indication given as to whether it is waxing or waning, so I will look into having our web folks add that to the graphical depiction.

As for interpreting the kind of numbers you came across, it is likely that they indicate the percentage of the moon visibly illuminated at moonrise and moonset, in that order. So in your example, the moon would rise as a crescent with 20% of its disk illuminated, and would set with 29% of the disk visible. This would translate to a text description of "waxing crescent," while, for another example, a numerical message showing 76/68 would indicate "waning gibbous," and so on.


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