DIY Moon Kit from NASA Helps You Track Lunar Phases


This moveable, make-at-home Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator can help you get out and observe the moon in 2018. Credit: NASA/JPL

Make a New Year’s resolution to get out and look at the moon more often, with help from a free, do-it-yourself Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator from NASA.

We love this NASA Moon Phases Calendar because it tells you what phase the moon will be in on a particular date, as well as what time of day you can see Earth’s satellite and in which direction. Following the moon’s changing position in the sky from night to night, and month to month, can be a fun, easy and often surprising astronomical activity for both kids and adults.

To make the calendar at home, you’ll first need to print the free template from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), using a color printer that can do doubled-sided printing. (If you don’t have one at home, check with a local print shop.) You’ll need a few other supplies as well: a hole punch; a brass fastener; scissors; tape; and a pen, pencil or black marker.

Construction of the calendar requires some knowledge of the moon’s phases — but if you aren’t familiar with the phase, you can check NASA’s website or make a moon journal to observe the phases yourself. The calendar is interactive; users move the interlocking panels to find out what phase the moon will be in on a particular date. Or they can search for the next occurrence of a particular phase (so, for example, the calendar can tell you when the next full moon is).

You can find the template and instructions here.

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