Black Moon: hoax or the real thing?
It says a lot when a writer has to put “it’s not the end of the world” in a headline. Social media timelines are filling up with crazy headlines about the “Black Moon.” It sounds like a hoax or a conspiracy theory, but it’s actually a real thing happening this Friday, September 30th.
Moonrise is at 7:11 PM Central Daylight Time. Should you be afraid?
Nope. It's something that happens every roughly every 32 months.
From Space.com's discussion of the Black Moon:
The lunar calendar almost lines up with Earth's calendar year, so there is typically one full moon and one new moon each month. 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. The next Black Moon takes place on Sept. 30 (in the Western Hemisphere).
It's a New Moon: the beginning of the 29.5-day lunar cycle. Since it's happening on September 30th and not October 1, it will technically be the second time we've had a New Moon this month.
A New Moon occurs when the moon's orbit around Earth puts it between us and the Sun. The side of the Moon facing Earth gets no direct sunlight in that position.
The New Moon may be lit dimly by a small amount of sunlight reflected from the Earth, but many times you don't see it at all.
So why is this a thing now if it happens a few times per decade?
That's a good question with no good answers (at least based in science)!