The Moon in the sky

You can recognize the current moon phase by looking at the shape of the moon in the sky. In the southern hemisphere, when the moon is shaped as the letter C, and visible just after sunset in the western sky, it is increasing in light, growing or 'waxing' towards full phase.

If you see the moon in the afternoon and the shape is near a capital letter D, the moon is waning, decreasing in light (from the left side). Each of the four main phases is about seven days. On any day of the month, the phase can also be determined by the time of moon rise and set.