Fellow space geeks, get ready for another super special sky event this week as we experience a Black Moon! As of late, there have been a lot of special happenings involving the moon, so you might be asking yourself what the Black Moon, and exactly when the Black Moon is happening, and what we should expect. I'm happy to tell you that you don't have to wait very long to experience this next moon event, because the Black Moon is happening this Friday, Sept. 30.
The Black Moon, which is really just a rare second new moon occurring twice in the same month, will occur at 8:11 p.m. ET and 5:11 p.m. PT, and will be "visible" to those who live in the Western Hemisphere. I say "visible," because the thing about the Black Moon is that it's black. Just like the new moon, it's not illuminated by the sun — rather, it's completely caught in shadow. If you have a telescope or if the sky is particularly clear, you might notice the black silhouette of the moon, or you might not notice it at all — if anything, you'll notice that you can see the stars a little bit more clearly without as much light pollution.
That said, you'll still want to head outside and look around the sky. This event is special because it only happens once every 32 months. The last time we had a Black Moon was in March of 2014, and the next time you'll have the opportunity to squint your eyes up at the black sky looking for a black circle, will be in July of 2019. And honestly, who knows? We might be living on the moon by then and it will be totally moot.
So get your butt outside, grab some binoculars, rent a telescope, head to a observatory or peep through a mega zoom camera lens and at least try to sneak a peak at the Black Moon. If you're lucky, you'll see this:
But if you're the majority of people looking for the Black Moon, you'll see this:
Aka, stars. Either way, it's a great excuse to get outside and look up. It's events like these that put things in perspective for us: we're so small here on Earth, and our time is so limited and special. It never hurts to take a moment to appreciate the natural world and stargaze. While you're out there, you might end up seeing a shooting star or a far away plane that you convince yourself is an alien party bus heading straight for you. And rest assured that if there is anything to see, someone you follow will post a picture to Instagram, so don't stress too hard about finding it!