What does it mean when the moon is waxing?



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    The moon is waxing when it is a slim crescent in the west after sunset. At this phase, the Earth, moon, and sun are almost on a straight line in space.

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      The moon need not be a slim crescent, nor in the west, to be waxing. Waxing is the process whereby the visible, lit portion gets larger as viewed from earth. A moon one day short of the full is also waxing.

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    The portion of the illuminated half of the moon as we see it from earth is getting larger. See link.

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    To the eye, a waxing moon is getting bigger, and a waning moon is getting smaller. What is happening is, as the moon goes around the earth and the earth goes around the sun, the light from the sun illuminates different pieces of the moon in a cycle, which goes from full, when the sun is illuminating a full half of the moon, to new, when there is no light on the moon and it is not visible. When the moon is going from new to full it appears to get bigger every night and is waxing, and when the moon is going from full to new it appears to get smaller every night and is waning.

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