Difference Between Waxing and Waning (With Table)

Waxing vs Waning

There will be very few people in this world, who would not be fascinated by the beauty of the full moon. The moon has been marveled at since ages now. There are numerous poetries that try to describe the beauty and mystique of the moon.

Most of the people tend to fall in love with the full moon. The full moon is very attractive because of its clear shape and brightness. The new moon is something almost everyone has heard of.  This is because a new moon is rarely visible and is quite dark. Between these two there are various other phases that a moon goes through.

A moon has various phases. The most known phases are waxing and waning. Both these phases are often found confusing by a lot of people. However, both these phases have their own characteristics and features which helps distinguish them.

The difference between waxing and waning is that Waxing is the time given to the period of the moon before the moon becomes a full moon and after it is a new moon. On the other hand, waning is the term given to the period of the moon when the moon has not become a full moon but has become a full moon.


 

Comparison Table Between Waxing and Waning

Parameter of ComparisonWaxingWaning
MeaningWaxing is the phase of the moon at the time until it has not become a full moon and the time when it has passed the new moon.Waning is the phase of the moon once it has finished being a full moon but has not become a new moon.
SizeThe size of the moon during this phase is growing. The size of the moon during this phase is shrinking.
ShapeThe moon looks like the alphabet ‘D’ during this phase. The moon looks like the alphabet ‘C’ during this phase.
Illuminated AreaThe lightened area of the moon is growing in the phase. The lightened area of the moon starts lessening in this phase.
ProcessDuring waxing the moon begins to lose its darkness and gain light on the flip side. During waning the moon begins to gain light and lose its darkness on the flip side.

 

What is Waxing?

Everyone is aware of the fact that light from the sun falls on the moon, while the moon travels around the earth. This gives the moon an appearance of being small sometimes and large at other times. It all depends on the distance and position of the sun from the moon.

The lunar cycle is the time-frame starting with one new moon then onto the next new moon which is responsible for the changes in the way the moon looks.

A moon at the time until it has not become a full moon and the time when it has passed new moon is called the waxing moon.  During this phase, the bright area of the moon is growing.

In this phase, the moon has just passed its darkest phase and moves towards its brightest phase.

A silver growing moon can be seen every night during this phase. The moon looks like the capital letter ‘D’ of the English alphabet.

 

What is Waning?

In terms of the lunar cycle, a moon is said to be waning once it has finished being a full moon but has not become a new moon. In this phase, the moon has just passed its brightest and fullest phase. This phase continues until the moon is no longer clearly visible.  Every night the moon looks like it is shrinking. 

The moon resembles the alphabet ‘C’ in appearance, during this phase. The moon takes various other shapes too while in the waning phase. The lighted area of the moon begins to reduce in this phase. 

In this phase, the one side of the moon is dark but the other looks plane. The moon begins to look darker each passing day.

Waning

Main Differences Between Waxing and Waning

  • During the phase of waxing the moon is at any time before the new moon and after the full moon. On the other hand, during the phase of Waning the moon is at any time before the full moon and after the new moon.
  • During the phase of waxing the illuminated area of the moon increases while on the other hand during the phase of waning the illuminated area of the moon decreases.
  • The shape of the moon during waxing fits in the shape of the letter ‘D’. On the other hand, the shape of the moon during waning fits the shape of the letter ‘C’.
  • The waxing phase begins when the moon has just passed its darkest phase and stays until the moon becomes its brightest. On the other hand, the waning phase begins when the moon has just passed its brightest and fullest phase.
  • During the phase of waxing the size of the moon is growing while on the other hand, during the phase of waning the size of the moon is shrinking.

 

Conclusion

The moon is one thing which is loved and marveled by everybody, all across the globe. The sight of a full moon is a to-die-for view. Everyone enjoys a full moon night.

However, before a moon reaches a full moon, there are various other phases that it goes through. Among the various phases waxing and waning are the most popular ones.

These phases often confuse most people and they find it difficult to distinguish the moon from one phase to another.

Waxing and waning are two phases completely different from each other. During waxing the moon gets larger and looks like the shape of the letter ‘D’. On the other hand, during the waning phase, the moon is shrinking and looks like the shape of the letter ‘C’.

The waxing phase starts when the moon has passed its darkest phase whereas the waning phase starts when the moon has passed its brightest and fullest phase.