Definition of lunation – What it is, Meaning and Concept

Lunation is a term that comes from late Latin lunatio. The term refers to time that occurs between two equal phases of the Moon.

Synodic lunar month

The Moon phases are linked to the sun lighting. Each phase is associated with how the illuminated portion of the Moon is modified according to its change in position with respect to our planet and the sun.


Lunation is the time elapsed between two equal phases of the Moon

Between two Full moons, for example, a lunation takes place. East period equals 29 days, 12 hours, 45 minutes and 3 seconds: Usually abbreviated to 29.5 days (that is, twenty-nine and a half days).

Also known as synodic lunar month, the lunation is the basis of many ancient calendars. In fact, it can be stated that the lunation is the origin of the months that are currently being considered.

To consider

Although the twelve months we have today (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December) are based on the synodic lunar months, they do not have a scientific correlate. This is because, as mentioned above, lunations do not exactly correspond to an integer of the so-called solar days (given by the time it apparently takes him to Sun go around the planet Earth).

It should be noted that all the phases of the Moon make up the lunar cycle, which begins with the new Moon and ends with the waning Moon, passing through the waxing moon, the waxing quarter, the waxing gibbous moon, the full moon, the waning gibbous moon and the waning quarter. The lunation is the weather that passes between two identical phases.

Moon phases

In summary, we speak of lunation to refer to a complete cycle of the Moon, which has nine well-defined phases if we want to describe it from the beginning to the end, although its number of main phases is four. It all starts with the aforementioned New Moon, which is also known as Black moon and is characterized by the impossibility of appreciating it from Earth unless it coincides with a eclipse total solar, since its illuminated face is the opposite of the one facing our planet.

The second phase is the Crescent moon, the first of the nine that we can appreciate. It takes place two days after the previous one and can be seen throughout most of the day, and for a few hours at night. its appearance it is similar to that of a horn. It is followed by crescent quarter, four days later. The Sun illuminates half of its visible face, and can be observed throughout six hours of the day and another six at night. The fourth phase of the lunation is the Crescent gibbous moon, which exhibits a convex shape at both ends, leaving behind the relatively straight cut of the previous one.

Lunation full moon wolf

The full moon, surrounded by myths, exhibits a full face

We arrive at full moon, when you can see a circle full. It lasts twelve hours, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This leads to the Waning gibbous moon, along which the illuminated face diminishes day after day, until it acquires the same aspect of the fourth phase, but mirrored. The seventh phase, called last quarter is, for its part, the opposite of crescent quarter, and it can be observed throughout the early morning and in the morning, until noon.

The eighth phase is the waning moon, which is also called Old moon, and can only be seen in the early morning on the east, before sunrise. Finally, to complete the lunation, comes the Black moon, so that the cycle.

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