Tonight's Moon Will Look Like It's Been Cut in Half—Here's When to Best See the Lunar Event

The moon will be in the first quarter phase of its near 30-day cycle.

First Quarter Moon also called a Half Moon since we see exactly 50% of the Moon's visible surface illuminated

We're just hours away from the first day of December (and the official start of the holiday season!), but you won't want to miss these last few moments of November. Tonight, on November 30, stargazers will be able to watch as the moon transitions into its first quarter phase—which, despite the confusing lunar jargon, means that the astronomical body will look like it has been sliced in half.

Though the moon will rise at midday (and later set at midnight), the first quarter moon will be visible at 33 degrees above the southeast horizon starting at 4:47 p.m. ET in the New York City area, Space reports. Don't live in Manhattan? You can use In the Sky's guide to identify the best time to see the half-illuminated moon in your area.

The moon will reach its peak at 36 degrees above the southern horizon around 6 p.m. ET and be within view until about 10:30 p.m. ET. At that time, the moon will begin falling 7 degrees over the southwest horizon.

This lunar event takes place between the new moon and the full moon during the moon's near 29.5-day cycle (at this point, the moon has gone through the first quarter of its overall cycle). When a new moon is in view, it is almost invisible for us to see on Earth. A full moon, on the other hand, is typically very bright, completely illuminating the night sky.

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