Don’t panic, but the dark side of the moon is making a comeback. Thankfully we don’t mean Pink Floyd.
On Friday night sky-watchers will get the rare chance to experience a black moon for the first time in over two years; but good luck actually spotting it.
What Is A Black Moon?
A black moon is defined as the second new moon in a single calendar month – and it describes when the moon is entirely invisible in the night sky because it blends in with it’s black surroundings.
According to Space, the unusual lunar event takes place approximately every 32 months. Joe Rao says: “A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon. A black moon is supposedly the flip side of a blue moon: the second new moon in a single calendar month.”
What Causes A Black Moon?
A black moon occurs during the ‘new moon phase’ and is black because the side of the moon facing earth is completely obscured by shadows.
What Does A Black Moon Mean?
Despite what some might have said the rare black moon doesn’t conjure up werewolves, the apocalypse or herald the end of times.
So you might want to seriously reconsider handing in your notice on Friday.
How Can I See The Black Moon?
Despite the excitement around the rare event, there isn’t actually that much to see in terms of moon-watching because the planet is not illuminated.
Having said that, it is probably still worth getting the telescope out as it is a good opportunity to do some star-gazing without the glare of the moon getting in the way.
When Does The Black Moon Start?
Ok, we’ve told a little fib, as the 30 September new moon won’t actually be a ‘true black moon’ for the majority of us.
In the UK, the upcoming new moon starts after midnight, putting it in the wrong month (it will be the 1 October) to fit the popular definition.
The black moon will begin just after midnight for people watching in the UK, at exactly 1.11 GMT (technically Saturday morning).