The next New Moon happens today, Sunday, February 23 at exactly 3.32pm GMT (10.32am ET). This timing means the February New Moon will unfortunately be invisible to even the most eagle-eyed observer.
What is a New Moon?
About a day after the New Moon conjunction, the Moon becomes visible again as a Waxing Crescent Moon
When the Moon is new, Earth’s natural satellite is placed between our planet and the Sun.
A New Moon occurs almost every a month, because the Moon takes approximately a month to orbit Earth.
The cosmic phenomena sees the New Moon pass close to the front of the Sun.
This is why, most months, there is no solar eclipse as the Moon must be at the new phase in order for a such an eclipse to occur.
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New Moon 2020: This month’s event occurs on February 23 at exactly 3.32pm GMT
New Moon 2020: February’s New Moon will unfortunately be invisible to even the most eagle-eyed observer
New moons typically cannot be seen without expensive equipment and Moon-photography experience.
Either way – in front of the sun or just near it – on the day of New Moon, the orb transits the sky while hidden in the Sun’s glare during the day.
Some people erroneously use the term New Moon for the thin crescent Moon visible in the west after sunset.
Such crescents are visible shortly after sunsets for two days after each month’s New Moon.
However, astronomers do not dub these little Crescent Moons as “new”.
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In the language of astronomy, these slim crescent are technically Young Moons.
Timeanddate.com wrote: “About a day after the New Moon conjunction, the Moon becomes visible again as a Waxing Crescent Moon.
“The initial period, as only the thinnest sliver of a Crescent Moon becomes visible, used to be called New Moon while the darkest phase was called Dark Moon.”
“This traditional definition of New Moon is still in use in some cultures, defining the beginning of the months in the Islamic calendar.”
US-based space agency NASA added the traditional new moon is “the earliest visible waxing crescent, which signals the start of a new month in many lunar and lunisolar calendars.”
New Moon 2020: When the Moon is new, Earth’s natural satellite is placed between our planet and the Sun
New Moon 2020:
New Moon 2020: The event occurs on Sunday, February 23 at exactly 3.32pm GMT (10.32am ET)
When are the next Supermoons?
This Spring will witness three successive Supermoons, allowing stargazers the opportunity to witness the rare spectacle for an entire season this year.
Each month between March and May, the Full Moon will be near to its closest point to Earth in its orbit, making Earth’s natural satellite appear bigger and brighter than normal.
The first of these Supermoons occurs on March 9, when the Full Moon passes at 222,081 miles (357,404km) from Earth.
The on April 8, the Full Moon passes even closer at just 221,851 miles (357,035km), making it the closest a Full Moon has been to Earth for almost a year.
Weather permitting, this will be the most impressive Supermoon of 2020, with Spring’s final Supermoon on May 7 passing at 224,429 miles (361,184km) from Earth.