Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rare "Black Moon" to Occur Friday

An astronomical event will occur this Friday, the last day of September. The catch? It's essentially invisible. So, what is the point of even mentioning this phenomenon? It is referred to as a "black moon" and has not occurred since March of 2014. It usually happens roughly once every other year. So it's not exactly ultra rare, but it isn't an every year type of happening. The "black moon" title is used whenever a second new moon phase happens in a single calendar month. That will happen for the western hemisphere this Friday.

A new moon is the phase when the illuminated side of the moon faces away from the earth. Therefore, no moon is seen because there's nothing to light the side of the moon that is facing earth up. This phase is normal and occurs in every moon cycle. This particular event is only given a special name because it doesn't happen all the time. The first new moon of the month went completely unmentioned. The one effect this event will have on areas where sky cover is not a limiting factor is it will provide a very dark sky (no moonlight to illuminate the sky). That darkness will supply ideal stargazing conditions. The sad news for the Stateline is extensive cloudiness is anticipated to be in place, as are a few showers. Thus, not only can we not see a "black moon," but we won't be able to see its effects on stargazing.

No comments:

Post a Comment