Practically speaking, every New Moon is a “Black Moon.” So why is this one so special you may ask?
Like any other New Moon, it will be indistinguishable. At the exact time of the New Moon, our satellite will be approximately between Earth and the Sun. Only its distant side will be lit (there is no “dark side” of the Moon!- Jamie Carter) So, from Earth, it’s invisible.
At 02:41 UTC on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, there’s going to be a New Moon.
Wednesday’s New Moon is described as a “Black Moon” because it’s the third New Moon in a season with four New Moons. It’s a traditional name. Not an actual astronomical event. It occurs about every 32 or 33 months, depending on what time-zone you’re within.
Fun Moon Facts
A “Black Moon” isn’t actually an astronomical event or official scientific name. It’s a traditional name that’s used when there are more new moons than usual.
The “Black Moon” is actually not an official term for the occurrence. Timeanddate.com explains that the name has been made popular by social media, astrologers, and modern practitioners of Wiccan traditions.
While the “Black Moon” can actually refer to a number of different things, in this instance, it’s describing a special new moon, the third in a rare season of four total new moons.
The ‘other’ kind of ‘Black Moon’
Just to confuse you, there’s another definition of “Black Moon.” A New Moon is so-called by some if it’s the second New Moon in a single calendar month.
This much more common kind of “Black Moon” last happened in North America on July 31, 2019, and will happen next on April 30, 2022, when there’s a
During that event, a partial solar eclipse will be visible from South America and Antarctica. Since the New Moon will be a visible silhouette across part of the Sun, it’s perhaps the most visual kind of “Black Moon” possible.
Why do stargazers love ‘Black Moons?’
For the same reason sky-watchers always love a New Moon—it means dark skies.
A lot of stargazers have a love-hate relationship with the Cresent.
That’s true whether you’re in Las Vegas or the middle of the desert; the Moon is the worst light polluter. So its absence this week means dark skies in remote locations that will be perfect for spotting many more stars, complex constellations, and our deep-sky objects that exist out there.
This ‘Black Moon’ will even make viewing the Milky Way possible.
So take this weeks’ “Black Moon” as a perfect sign for you to go stargazing. Then go outside at dusk on Thursday and enjoy the climactic reappearance of our satellite as a divinely delicate moon. Florida residents are stated to have the best paradise of the sky view during these times.
So grab a cozy blanket and your best stargazing buddy and get ready to enjoy the splendor of the starry night sky under this special “Black Moon.”
Will you be one of those curious sky lovers?