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Moon's Orbit

Earth from the Moon
Credit: Apollo 17; NASA

The Moon moves around the Earth, taking about one month to complete an orbit. The Moon is "tidally locked" in to position with the Earth such that it always shows us the same side - this is because it takes the same amount of time to rotate on its axis as it does to orbit us - 28 days.

During its orbit the Moon appears to change shape because only a part of its surface is lit up by the Sun (we only see the Moon because it reflects sunlight). The different shapes are known as Moon Phases and repeat every 28 days.

To learn more about the changing phases of the Moon - click here.


Please note that over the weekend of the 26-28th May 2017 we will be switching over to our brand new website - during this time there may be periods where the site is difficult to access, and users will be unable to request observations from the telescope. Please bear with us during this time. All should be back up and running by the 29th May 2017.