Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator

The Moon is the most visible object in our night sky, and it’s even sometimes visible in daylight. Have you noticed the patterns of the different Moon shapes, or phases, you can see? Keeping a Moon Journal for a month is a great way to see those patterns and be able to predict the phase that will appear the next night and next week.

Watch the Tutorial

See below for materials and step-by-step instructions. For more video tutorials and activities like this one, visit Learning Space.

Watch en Español: Seleccione subtítulos en Español bajo el ícono de configuración.

In this episode of Learning Space, you'll find out how to make a journal showing the phases of the Moon by observing the Moon throughout the month and drawing what you see. | Watch on YouTube

Moon Journal Activity Materials - NASA/JPL Edu


Moon Journal Activity Step 1 - NASA/JPL Edu

Print it out

Print out this blank calendar to use as your journal.
Moon Journal Activity Step 2 - NASA/JPL Edu

Look at the Moon

You may start on any day of any month. Record the date and time of your first observation.
Moon Journal Activity Step 3 - NASA/JPL Edu

Draw the Moon

Draw the Moon as you see it in the sky.
Moon Journal Activity Step 4 - NASA/JPL Edu


Do the same thing every day for an entire month, at least 30 days. If you can’t see the Moon one day, leave that day blank. We’ll fill it in later.
Moon Journal Activity Step 5 - NASA/JPL Edu

See a pattern?

What patterns do you see? Use the patterns to predict what the Moon looked like on days you didn’t see it. Draw in the Moon for any days that are blank in your journal.
Moon Phases Animation

Check your work

Once you are done observing for the month and filling in any blank days, check that your drawings are in the same order as this animation
Phases of the Moon labeled

Label the moon phases

Use this guide to label the eight moon phases in your journal. 
Graphic of the moon and Earth with the Sun off screen.

What makes it do that?

Moon phases are caused by the relative position of the Sun, Moon and Earth.
Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator Activity - NASA/JPL Exu

Keep going!

Now that you're familiar with the phases of the Moon, you can build this Moon Phase Calendar and Calculator so you’ll know when and where to look in the sky for every phase of the moon this year!

Find out more about the Moon and the NASA robots and humans who have visited it by visiting: