First we had a supermoon to be on the lookout for, then a blood moon and now a black moon. What’s going on?
Yes, Friday night, we’ve got the seemingly new phenomenon of a black moon to enthrall sky-watchers. But try as you might, this time you can be assured you won’t see anything.
Black moon + black sky = invisible.
Similar to a blue moon — the second full moon of a single calendar month — a black moon is the second new moon of the month, according to Space.com.
“The black moon is a somewhat unusual celestial event — they occur about once every 32 months,” said Joe Rao of Space.com.
The most recent black moon was in March 2014, according to AccuWeather.
The problem? A new moon is invisible, as the sunlit side of the moon faces away from the Earth, so the side we see is entirely in shadow.
“There really is nothing to see,” Rao said.
However, what will happen Friday night is a chance to enjoy the night sky without any glare from the moon.
The new moon officially occurs at 8:11 p.m. EDT (5:11 p.m. PDT) on Friday. But it will take a few more nights before you’ll start to see the moon as a silver sliver when the crescent moon increases in size, ScienceAlert reports.
For those in the Eastern Hemisphere, particularly Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe, the new moon doesn’t occur until after midnight, weather.com says, so it’s technically just a regular new moon for that part of the world since it occurs on the first of next month.