Maybe you’ve heard of a blue moon, used in the phrase “once in a blue moon.” But you probably haven’t heard of a black moon. Well, lucky for you, a rare black supermoon will be occur Wednesday night in United States. It will be the first black moon since 2016!
So what is a black moon? A black moon most commonly refers to the second new moon in a single month. This is similar to the way a blue moon refers to the second full moon in a single month.
Wednesday night’s black moon is also a supermoon. This means it will be at its perigee, the closest point to earth on its orbit. This has the moon over 26 thousand miles closer to earth than at its furthest point, the apogee. These distances are different because the orbital path of the moon isn’t a perfect circle.
Wednesday’s black supermoon will most noticeably affect ocean tides. Within a day of any new or full moon, the entire planet has its lowest and highest tides. A supermoon like this one, will make these high and low tides even more significant.
Unfortunately, the black supermoon can’t be seen, due to the fact that it is still technically a new moon. The moon will be between Earth and sun, so there will be no light to reflect to the surface. It will still make the skies pitch black, perfect for rural stargazing!
Summers in the Northern Hemisphere are great for viewing arms of the Milky Way Galaxy and the Big and Little Dippers. The Summer Triangle is also visible, consisting of the constellations Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila.