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Black moon rising: rare phenomenon coming to Canada

A rare phenomenon is expected to grace the Western hemisphere around 11:13 p.m. tonight, according to Space.com. The elusive “Black…

Dylan Gibbons Montreal, QC
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A rare phenomenon is expected to grace the Western hemisphere around 11:13 p.m. tonight, according to Space.com.

The elusive “Black Moon” occurs roughly once every 32 months, when a second new moon occurs in a month. However, this means the phenomenon will be difficult to see as new moons occur when the Earth-side face of the moon is shadowed and reflects none of the Sun’s light.

“A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a “Blue Moon.” A Black Moon is supposedly the flip side of a Blue Moon: the second new moon in a single calendar month,” explains Space.com’s Joe Rao.

“New moon” refers to the beginning and end of a lunar cycle.

Besides being a unique 3-year event, the moon will also be a supermoon which occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth.

However, given the nature of new moons, you won’t be able to see anything.

“But unlike a “supermoon,” explains Rao, “which gets countless numbers of people scurrying for vantage points to see a slightly larger and slightly brighter-than-average full moon, with a Black Moon, you simply can’t see it.”

“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 said in a CTV News interview.

“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,” he concluded.

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