Here is some exciting news for those living in the Western Hemisphere — today, September 30, marks the emergence of the black moon. While that may sound sinister and is even dubbed apocalyptic by some; it is just the moniker given to the second new moon in a month. And like all new moons, this one too will be invisible to the naked eye.
As you may or may not know, a new moon occurs when the lunar orbit is between the earth and the sun. Therefore, the side of the moon lit by the sun is facing away from our planet, making it virtually invisible. Hence, black moons have no astrological significance. The only reason they get recognition is because experiencing two new moons in a month is a rare occurrence that happens once every two to three years. The last black moon was in March 2014, and the next one, will not occur until July 31, 2019.
A black moon is the exact opposite of a blue moon — the second full moon in one month. However, they both occur because the 29.5-day lunar cycle is slightly shorter than our 30-31 day months, with February being the exception. Hence, when a new or full moon falls on the first of the month, we are treated to a second one in the same month.
Interestingly, for people living in the Eastern Hemisphere, today’s black moon will be an ordinary new moon. That’s because they will not experience it until midnight (October 1). But that does not mean they will escape it altogether! It just means that their black, or second, new moon will arrive at the end of October. While some countries will “see” it on the 30th, for residents of East Asia, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, the dark moon will make its invisible appearance on October 31, making for an even spookier Halloween night!
Resources: latimes.com, space.com,nationalgeographic.com