Have you ever wondered when the next full moon will be? How about the first quarter moon? Now you can have all the dates and times for all the moon phases for the year at your fingertips by building your own moon phases calendar and calculator!
*Update: Dec. 15, 2021 – The previous version of the 2021 low-ink Calendar Wheel showed the sunlight on the wrong side of each moon phase. The page has been updated to correct the issue. We apologize for the error. Replace the previous version by printing out page 1 (or 1-2 double-sided, if desired) of the updated version and attaching it to the assembled calendar in place of the previous Calendar Wheel (bottom page). 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. VIDEO
In this episode of Learning Space, you'll learn how to make a calendar that shows you when and where to spot the Moon for every day of the year! |
Watch on YouTube
1. Print it out
Adjust the printer settings to print two-sided, and print out the Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator template, preferably on heavy paper or card stock.
Note: Printing is recommended as copying may cause misalignment issues. Replacing last year's calendar:
To update last year's calendar, just print out a new Calendar Wheel and Viewing Wheel, pages 1-2 and 5-6 of the PDF. Don't forget to save your Moon Phases Wheel (with the phases shaded in), and Moonrise and Moonset Panels from last year! If it's too hard to remove the Moonrise and Moonset Panels from last year's calendar, you may want to replace those with new ones from pages 3-4 of the PDF.
2. Shade it in
Before cutting anything out, use your knowledge of the Moon to shade in the phases on the Moon Phases Wheel according to the labels. If you are unfamiliar with moon phases,
make a Moon Journal first. Replacing last year's calendar:
Remove and set aside the brass fastener from last year's calendar. Set aside the Moon Phases Wheel. Remove and set aside the Moonset and Moonrise Panels taped to the Viewing Wheel. Recycle the rest! If it's too hard to remove the Moonrise and Moonset Panels from last year's calendar, you may want to replace those with new ones from pages 3-4 of the PDF.
3. Cut it out
Cut out the Moon Phases Wheel, the Moonset and Moonrise Panels, and the Viewing Wheel where indicated on the back.
Replacing last year's calendar:
Cut out the new Viewing Wheel. If necessary, cut out replacement Moonset and Moonrise Panels. At this point, you should have five pieces total: 1) Calendar Wheel, 2) Viewing Wheel, 3) Moon Phases Wheel (with phases shaded in), 4) Moonset Panel and 5) Moonrise Panel. Be sure that the year on the Calendar Wheel matches the one on the Viewing Wheel.
4. Punch a hole Use a hole punch to create the hole for the “view from space” on the Viewing Wheel.
5. Tape it Attach the Moonset and Moonrise Panels to the Viewing Wheel where indicated on the back using tape.
6. Poke a hole Use a pencil to poke a guide hole in the center of all three wheels.
7. Put it together Assemble the Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator by placing the Moon Phases Wheel on top of the Calendar Wheel, then the Viewing Wheel on the very top. Use the brass fastener to connect all three wheels in the center.
8. Try it out!
Pick a date for which you would like to know what moon phase will be visible and where to look. (Note: The Calendar Wheel shows the dates when moon phases occur in the Pacific Time Zone.) On the calendar wheel, note the moon phase that will be visible on this date. Turn the Moon Phases Wheel until the moon phase matches the Calendar Wheel moon phase. Use the “view on Earth” pointer to line up the two matching phases.
Center these matching phases above the “S” on the viewing window. The time shown is when that phase is visible while facing south. That phase rises in the eastern sky at the time shown in the window by the “E” and sets in the western sky at the time shown in the window by the “W.”
The Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator can tell you approximately what time of day
* and where you can see your favorite moon phases! For example, to see the full moon as it sets on the western horizon, you need to be awake before 6 a.m.! It is easier to wait for the full moon to rise in the eastern horizon at about 6 p.m. *Note: All times are approximate and listed in standard time. During daylight saving time, add one hour for a more accurate Moon-viewing time. The Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator is designed for use in the northern hemisphere.
Find out more about the Moon and the NASA robots and humans who have visited it by visiting: