Track the moon with Moonphase

See exactly what the moon's up to with this feature-filled software.

Whether you're an astronomy buff or a werewolf or have some other interest in the moon's phases, Moonphase is a simple desktop utility that might be of interest to you. This attractive program provides detailed information about the moon that's specific to your location, even noting which days are best for fishing according to what the moon's up to.

The program's interface is maybe a little cluttered at first glance, but it's fairly easy to figure out. On the left side, an attractive graphic provides a realistic depiction of the moon in its current phase. You can select your time zone or longitude and latitude to make the information location-specific; a world map pinpoints the selected location, which can also be changed by clicking elsewhere on the map. We liked the fact that Moonphase was able to save our location so that we wouldn't have to enter it anew every time we launched the program.

A calendar lets you view the moon's phase for any date between 1600 and 2999, a huge range that's useful for doing research into the past or forecasting events in the future. Moonphase also provides information about moonrise, moon transit, and moonset, as well as the moon's distance from the Earth in kilometers. It also gives the times for sunrise, sun transit, and sunset. Moonphase minimizes to the system tray, so it can be kept handy but out of the way. The program comes with brief instructions, but we found everything pretty easy to figure out without help. Overall, we thought that Moonphase was fun and easy to use, and we recommend it to anyone with an interest in lunar activities.

Moonphase installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly.

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