Flexi Says: The phases of the Moon, or lunar phases, are the different appearances of the lit part of the Moon during one complete lunar orbit. A full moon occurs when the whole side facing Earth is lit. About one week later, the Moon enters the quarter-moon phase. Only half of the Moon’s lit surface is visible from Earth, so it appears as a half circle. Another week later, the Moon moves between Earth and the Sun. The side of the Moon facing Earth is completely dark. This is called a new moon. One week after that, the Moon is in another quarter-moon phase. Finally, in one more week, the Moon is back to full. Before and after the quarter-moon phases are the gibbous and crescent phases. During the crescent moon phase, the Moon is less than half lit. During the gibbous moon phase, the Moon is more than half lit.