Ever wonder when the next supermoon or lunar eclipse will be taking place? Whether you’re an astrophotographer or simply an astronomy lover, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has made it easy to discover the phases of the moon with a clever DIY project. Their Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator is a fun project that only requires a printer, scissors, a hole punch, some tape, and a brass fastener to complete.
Once assembled, you just spin the wheel to any given date in 2018 and it will show the phase of the moon—in the Northern Hemisphere. And it gets even better. You can use the handy calculator to see what time of day (in the Pacific Time Zone) a particular moon phase is occurring depending on the direction you are facing, allowing you to plan your moon watching perfectly.
You can download the printable worksheet from NASA and get started, following the steps below. And if you want to learn more about the moon, check out NASA’s page dedicated to the Moon and the people who have landed on it.
Update: NASA’s Moon Phases Calendar has been revised for 2019!
NASA’s Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator helps you discover when you can see the phases of the moon in the Northern Hemisphere on any given day.
Print out the worksheet from NASA, which includes a calendar wheel, moon phases wheel, and viewing wheel.
Shade in the different moon phases with a pencil.
Cut out the different wheels along the lines as indicated.
Attach the moonrise and moonset panels to the viewing wheel with tape.
Punch a hole in the center and assemble the wheels, fixing them together with a brass fastener.
Spin the wheel to any given date and match it with the moon phase wheel to see approximately what time of day you can see your favorite moon phase.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Website