Is the moon out of fashion? Well, beginners in astronomy are usually disappointed by the full moon, which looks boring because the sun then shines straight down like a flash camera to erase all shadows and highlights. But all moon phases are not created equal. The year's best moon for observers is happening these nights. That's when it suddenly explodes with breathtaking detail for anyone with binoculars or a small telescope and the phase responsible for these sudden riches is the first quarter.