JULY 31, 2019
Don’t be concerned if you can’t see the moon Wednesday night: It’s there, it’s just a black moon.
This black moon will appear in North America at 11:13 p.m. EDT (8:13 p.m. PDT), and is the first one since September 2016.
A moon is considered “black” when it’s the second new moon of the month, according to Space.com. A new moon occurs when the moon’s Earth-facing side is fully enveloped in shadow.
The term black moon is also used to describe a month where there are no new moons, Space.com says. February is the only month when this can occur, as it has only 28 days.
According to EarthSky.org, Wednesday night’s black moon is also a supermoon, making it doubly special. This occurs when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
Even though you won’t actually be able to see this phenomenon, it’s still a noteworthy event. Black moons occur only about once every 32 months. And if you find yourself missing the moon’s presence in the sky, you’ll be able to see a sliver of the moon again Friday.
Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia will not experience the black moon Wednesday night. Their new moon appears early Thursday, making it the first of the month. For those continents, their new moon will arrive later in August.
Stargazers in the Western Hemisphere, you’re in luck — a moonless sky means the stars will shine extra bright Wednesday night.
Courtesy/Source: This article originally appeared on USA TODAY