If you were a fan of the giant and gorgeous Harvest Moon, you won’t want to miss your chance to experience Friday night’s mysterious Black Moon.
It will occur at 8:11 p.m. ET and rise above the Western Hemisphere, but here’s the catch. It will be more or less invisible as the side of the moon lit by the sun is facing away from the Earth. However, sky watchers will be treated to plenty of stars, weather permitting. This is because moonless skies appear darker, so the stars are easier to view.
Here are 8 fast facts about this week’s Black Moon:
- There hasn’t been a Black Moon since March 2014 and there will not be another until July 2019.
- A Black Moon is the second new moon in a calendar month. Whereas, the Blue Moon refers to a second full moon in a single month.
- When the moon is full, its Earth-facing side is fully illuminated by sunlight, while a new moon occurs when the side facing the Earth is in shadow.
- On average, a new moon occurs every 29.5 days.
- Those in the Eastern Hemisphere will have to wait until either Oct. 30 or Halloween night to see a Black Moon.
- During full or new moons, which occur when the Earth, sun, and moon are nearly in alignment, average tidal ranges are slightly larger. This occurs twice each month, according to NOAA.
- According to some Christian beliefs, a Black Moon heralds the “End of Days.”
- Spells and rituals are said to be more effective under a Black Moon, according to some members of the Wiccan religion.
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