No, everyone observes the same moon phases. People living north and south of the equator, however, observe the moon's present phase from different perspectives. If you moved to the other hemisphere, the moon would be at the same phase as it is at home, but it would seem upside down. The moon is always facing towards the Earth, so it would appear as a full moon even when it's not.
The moon is always changing shape because of the way that it is surrounded by air molecules. The closer a molecule is to the surface of the moon, the more influence it has on how that surface is shaped. Air molecules around the edge of the earth, for example, cause clouds to form, while those near the ground affect how much light reaches the moon.
As well as changing shapes, the moon is also constantly moving across the sky because of these air molecules. As the moon passes over regions with more air than others, clouds will form or break up more quickly, affecting what we can see from planet Earth.
At any one time, only about half of the moon is visible from the Earth. This is because we are looking down at the moon, and there is another half hidden from view. When the moon is new, it is completely covered by its shadow; when it is full, it is completely illuminated by sunlight. At some points in between these two states, only part of the moon is dark.
Are the moon phases the same all around the world? Yes, everyone observes the same moon phases. The moon is always visible by night, but not all observers see it at the same angle as others. In fact, there are three ways in which the appearance of the moon may differ from place to place on Earth: from west to east, from north to south, and depending on your viewing angle.
The first way that the moon can appear different across Earth is in relation to its position over the horizon. If the Moon is high in the sky, it will be seen more clearly from one side of the planet than from the other. This is because parts of the Earth between the viewer and the moon are in darkness, while others are not. At high levels in the atmosphere, such as on top of a mountain, this effect is even stronger - the moon is completely invisible from some areas of the planet.
The second way in which the moon can appear different across Earth is in relation to where the sun is in its monthly cycle. If the moon is observed when the sun is low on the horizon, then it will be seen in its full moon before it rises again.
As you may be aware, the direction of the moon in your sky varies as you go northward or southerly on Earth's globe. Thank you, Andy! Everyone on the planet who looks up at the moon sees the same moon, in about the same phase. The moon phase is a global phenomena. It's not just a northern or southern phenomenon.
This unique aspect of the moon was first noted by Aristotle and later confirmed by many other scholars. Modern scientists now know that the moon always shows the same face to Earth, regardless of where you are on the surface of the planet. Even though we pass over different parts of the lunar surface from time to time, all those regions observe the same phase of the moon.
The reason for this is simple enough: The gravitational pull of the moon is strong enough to hold onto most of its water when it orbits around Earth. Although some of this water is lost into space, much of it remains in the form of ice deposits near the pole. When these ice deposits melt, they produce the streams, rivers, and lakes that fill our world with life.
Without this water, the lunar surface would be quite a different place. It might have oceans like Mars, but even today there are no permanent bodies of water on the moon.
People in the northern and southern hemispheres see the moon in opposite directions. It isn't a shift in phase. It's a shift in the moon's direction with regard to your horizon. If you were to walk out on a lake in the northern hemisphere, where the moon is always seen in the east, you would see it rise as it gets closer and set as it moves farther away.
In other words, people in the north see the moon when it is at its highest point in the sky and people in the south see it when it is at its lowest point in the sky. This is true even though both groups of people are looking at exactly the same part of the moon at all times!
It's easy to understand why this would be so. In the northern hemisphere, if you were to stand with your back to a mountain and look up at the moon, it would appear to be rising as it gets closer and setting as it moves farther away.
This is because the path that it takes across the sky changes as the moon goes from east to west. In the southern hemisphere, if you were to do the same thing, the moon would appear to be setting as it gets closer and rising as it moves farther away.
Because we live beneath a curving dome of sky, the moon's direction with regard to your horizon changes during the night. As the earth rotates once on its axis, every part of the planet experiences day and night for a little over 14 days. During this period the moon passes through all phases: new, first quarter, full, third quarter and finally crescent.
The moon is always visible, but because it is surrounded by atmosphere it appears larger from some places than others. This is why planets appear bigger from certain locations. It has nothing to do with size or distance; it's just geography that affects how you view objects in the night sky.
From Seattle, the moon appears large and bright when it is right on top of Saturn. From somewhere in South America you would see it similarly bright but with a completely different face - it would be half-lit because it is after midnight where they are under the horizon. Here in North America it's not even dark yet and the moon is still almost full.
People often wonder what the moon is made of. We know it's made of dirt and rock from the Earth, but exactly how much of each is hard to say.
Because the Moon revolves on its axis at the same pace as it circles the Earth, only one side of the Moon is visible from Earth—a phenomenon known as synchronous rotation, or tidal locking. The Moon is directly lighted by the Sun, and the lunar phases are caused by the cyclically altering viewing circumstances. During a full moon, every part of the moon is illuminated, but because more of the moon is dark than bright, there are three regions that are darker than the surrounding terrain: the morning sun rises, shadows fall toward the center of the crater, and night falls over those regions.
To understand why only one side is visible, consider that if both sides were equally bright and dark, then no net change would occur when the position of the moon changed during its monthly orbit.
The fact that the Moon's face changes color as the moon moves around the earth is due to atmospheric refraction. As the moon gets closer to the earth, the effect of the atmosphere becomes more noticeable, causing colors to appear more saturated (brighter) and angles to appear more sharply defined. As the moon moves away from the earth, the atmosphere loses its influence on how colors appear, so colors become less vivid and angles become more diffuse (blurry).
At certain times of year, particularly around new and full moons, the Earth's shadow falls across all or part of the moon.