BACK IN BLACK: Black moon set to appear in Friday’s night sky

CHARLES DALL, Staff writer

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A rare lunar event will be taking place on Sept. 30 – a black moon. Although the name of this event may sound like the name of a horror or post-apocalyptic movie, this is not the case whatsoever – the moon will seem to disappear into the dark night sky.

A black moon is actually whenever a second New Moon appears in a single month. This event only happens about once every 32 months. A simpler way of describing this event would be saying that on Sept. 30, the moon will appear to disappear starting at about 7:11 p.m.

Scientists believe this event to be the opposite of a blue moon. To further explain this, a blue moon is not literally blue – it is when a full moon appears twice in one month. However, other definitions for a black moon exist as well, including:

  • The third new moon in a season of four new moons.
  • A calendar month without a New Moon.
  • A calendar month without a Full Moon.

The next black moon is not expected until 2017, so if you wish to (not) see this event, simply go outside this Friday and watch the night sky. The moon should appear, (or NOT appear) and reveal nothing but the blackness of the night.

However, scientists actually do not know how a black moon occurs. Another theory says that a black moon occurs when February skips a full moon, which only occurs once every 19 years.

A third theory also states that a black moon could possibly come from whenever any month skips a full moon. Although more common in the latter, both could be plausible – scientists simply do not know exactly how to explain the phenomena that is a black moon.

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BACK IN BLACK: Black moon set to appear in Friday’s night sky