Black Moon

By , September 30, 2016

Recently, with clear nights and the autumnal equinox tipping us back toward more darkness, the night sky has become quite interesting over the homestead. Clear views of the Milky Way, frequent, early auroral displays, and simple star gazing have us craning our necks skyward. Early this morning, we might see a Black Moon.

Although I’ve known about a Blue Moon, a second full moon in a single month, for most of my life, I don’t think I’d ever heard of a Black Moon, a second new moon (also called dark of the moon) in a month.

Right now, we’re ideally positioned for moon gazing. The moon currently rises just before dawn in the valley between “The Mountain With No Name” and “LC Mountain,” the mountains that dominate our view. This means that we should be able to make out the rising moon, even though Earth’s shadow will completely cover it (or mostly—0.1% illumination!). But, with the sun rising, we may be able to just make it out.

Of course, technically, the moon will be new at precisely 4:11 p.m. this afternoon; At that time, we’ll have to hike over the ridge to look for it in the west.

I guess a black moon is pretty rare, although it happens every 32 months, which kind of deflates the claims some make that it presages the end of the world.

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