Black Moon Rising

FREE Romance Sampler Book
Unlike the CCR song, Bad Moon Rising, you probably won't see the Black Moon Rising which actually takes place tonight, but only in the Western Hemisphere.

In the Eastern Hemisphere, the new moon doesn’t occur until after midnight which will make it appear on Oct. 1 thus being the first new moon of October instead of the second one of September. There will be one visible there on Oct. 30 I think.

Haven't heard of a Black Moon before? I hadn't either.

I wondered if it was just another name for the Blue Moon we all know about, hence the saying: Once in a Blue Moon. But it's not.

(Psst. Blue Moon Sizzlers is a free book of novel excerpts to which I contributed a few years ago. Click the link to grab your copy.)

Let's Clarify

A Blue Moon happens when there are 2 full moons in a calendar month.

A Black Moon happens when there are 2 New Moons in a month.

A quick brush-up on astronomy is needed.

What is a month? A unit of time, used with calendars, which is approximately as long as it takes for the moon to revolve around the Earth.

What are the phases of the moon? The moon is a sphere that travels once around the Earth every 29.5 days. As it travels, it's illuminated from varying angles by the sun. There are names for the various angles or phases that can be observed. Here's another explanation with diagram of the phases of the moon.

New Moon (sometimes called the Dark Moon) -- not visible to observers
Waxing Crescent
First Quarter or Half Moon
Waxing Gibbous
Full Moon -- we can see the entire illuminated portion of the moon.
Waning Gibbous
Third Quarter or Half Moon -- the illuminated part we see is opposite of the First Quarter viewing
Waning Crescent 
New Moon -- cycle starts over

Back to the Black Moon

At new moon, the moon is between the Earth and sun. The side of the moon facing our planet receives no direct sunlight. It's only illuminated by dim sunlight reflected from the Earth. As the moon moves around the Earth, the side we see is gradually more illuminated by direct sunlight.

The lunar calendar is almost exactly like our calendar year. We usually have 1 full moon and 1 new moon each month. Anytime a second anything occurs, it's an oddity that ends up with its own name and usually a bunch of folklore and superstitions arise about it.

Although it sounds sinister, a Black Moon doesn't have any strange power. It's not even as rare as one might think. The last one was in March 2014, and next year there will be one in August.

Takeaway Truth

Best use of this knowledge? A trivia game? If you're a writer, of course, the best use is as a jumping off point for your imagination. I can think of all kinds of premises revolving around a Black Moon event. I call dibs!

No comments:

Post a Comment