View a Rare Black Moon This Weekend

The phenomenon will also be marked by a partial solar eclipse

An image of a waning crescent moon as it appeared on April 28, 2022. It appears as a small sliver.
A waning crescent moon, pictured here, occurs right before a new moon. The second new moon in a single calendar month is often called a black moon. NASA

A rare black moon will occur on April 30 and cause the first partial solar eclipse of 2022. Black moons are not an official astronomical term, but one common definition of them states they occur when a second new moon falls in a single calendar month. New moons happen when the moon’s Earth-facing side is fully shrouded in shadow and is nearly invisible. This year’s black moon is the only one for 2022. 

The black moon’s partial solar eclipse will begin 90 minutes before sunset on April 30. The best place to see the phenomenon is Chile, where the black moon will block up to 54 percent of the sun. Observers farther north will see less of the sun covered, Forbes reports. The event will only be seen from parts of Antarctica, South America, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, according to People. Astronomy fans in North America can view the event on a livestream.

The black moon will make it easier to see other key features in the sky, including a rare conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, according to Forbes

A second defintion of a black moon says that it is the third new moon in a season of four new moons, according to The next date that type of black moon will occur is May 19, 2023.

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