It’s been an exciting month for stargazers — first, a harvest moon lunar eclipse, and now a black moon!
But unfortunately, you’ll have a tricky time seeing this phenomenon. Why? Well, because a black moon against a black sky will make it nearly impossible to see.
According to Space.com, there is typically one full moon and one new moon each month. However, this particular month, a second new moon will rise on Friday night.
A full moon occurs when the moon’s earth-facing surface is fully illuminated by sunlight.
A new moon refers to the start of a new lunar cycle. It occurs when the moon passes through the same part of the sky as the sun, and as a result, the side of the moon facing the earth is completely covered in a shadow.
This somewhat unusual celestial event happens about every 32 months.
You may be able to see a faint outline of the moon’s silhouette as it crosses in front of the sun, but other than that, it will be pretty hard to see, according to Space.com.
The black moon will officially rise in the Western Hemisphere on Friday, September 30 at 8:11 p.m.
Unfortunately, the new moon will occur after midnight for the Eastern Hemisphere, so it does not qualify as a black moon since the calendar day is October 1. However, the Eastern Hemisphere will get their chance to see a black moon on October 30 or, if you live in eastern Asia, Japan, Australia or New Zealand, on October 31.