Rare 'Black Moon' over Canada tonight for the first time in three years
A rare “Black Moon” will appear over Canada for the first time in three years tonight, but don’t expect to see much.
The phenomenon occurs about once every 32 months, when there is a second new moon in a month, according to Space.com.
While the next “Black Moon” takes place on July 31 in North America, the rest of the world will have to wait until August 30.
Tonight’s moon will also be a supermoon, which means the new moon happens at the closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
A new moon refers to the moment when the moon's Earth-facing side is fully in shadow, which unfortunately means the “Black Moon” will be more or less invisible.
“New moons by definition are invisible, the only time you can ever see a new moon is during a total solar eclipse, then you’re able to actually see the side of the moon facing the Earth that does not get any solar illumination,” York University physics and astronomy professor Paul Delaney told CTV News Channel.
“The moon only shines by reflected light and when you don’t get any light on the side of the moon facing you it’s black.”
Prof Delaney said the “Black Moon” will happen at 11.12 p.m. tonight.
The term new moon refers to the start of a new lunar cycle. The time frame from one new moon to the next is called a synodic month, which, on average, lasts 29.53 days.
A “Black Moon” also has significance among pagans and Wiccans, with some believing the moon amplifies rituals or spells at this time, while others believe no magic should be worked on a “Black Moon,” according to Witchipedia.
The lunar calendar almost lines up with Earth's calendar year, so there is typically one full moon and one new moon each month.
A full moon refers to the moment when the moon's Earth-facing side is fully illuminated by sunlight. A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a "Blue Moon."