First we had a Super Moon to worry about, then a Blood Moon, and now a Black Moon? What’s going on?
Yes, Friday night, we’ve got the seemingly new phenomena of a Black Moon to look forward to.
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.
Problem is, a new moon is invisible: It occurs when the dark side of the moon faces the Earth. So what we’ll be looking for Friday night is a black moon against a black sky.
“There really is nothing to see,” Rao said.
What will happen Friday night is a chance to enjoy the night sky without any glare from the moon, though.
The new moon officially occurs at 8:11 p.m. EDT (5:11 p.m. PDT) on Friday Sept. 30. It won’t be until a couple of nights later that you’ll start to see the moon as a silver sliver, as 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 pointed out, so it’s technically just a regular old new moon for that part of the world, since it occurs on the first of next month.
Always a bastion of reason and calm, England’s Express newspaper said that Friday’s Black Moon could “bring with it worldwide destruction and the second coming of Jesus Christ.”
A Black Moon can also be used to describe a month without either a full moon or a new moon, according to Space.com. With only 28 days, February is the only month in which that can occur.
Social media branding is partly to blame for the recent craze of supermoons, blood moons and blue moons, Rao said, with our craving for hashtags and taglines to publicize or share an event.
“Are you ready for yet another lunar ‘brand?” he asked. “The newest one is Black Moon.”
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