What is meant by the phases of the Moon? What causes the phases of the Moon?

The different shapes of the bright part of the moon as seen during a month are called the phases of the moon. Moon is the natural satellite of the Earth. It revolves around the Earth. It completes one rotation on its axis as it completes one revolution around the Earth. The moon does not have light of its own. We are able to see the moon because the sunlight falling on its surface gets reflected towards us. We, therefore, see only that part of the moon, from which the light of the Sun is reflected towards us. The size of the illuminated part of the moon visible from the Earth increases each day after the new moon day. After the full moon day, the sunlit part of the moon visible from the Earth decreases in size every day. This process leads to the phases of the Moon.