What is a black supermoon? The meaning behind the nickname for the July 31 new moon

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Here's what it means that a black moon is rising Wednesday
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During a black moon, conditions for stargazing are ideal.

Sky-watchers have one more thing to look forward to before July is up. On Wednesday night, there will be a black supermoon.

The term black moon, AccuWeather explains, is the opposite of the term blue moon. When we have a blue moon, that means it's the second full moon of any given month. When we have a black moon, it's the second new moon.

A new moon occurs when the dayside of the moon is facing away from us, meaning the moon appears dark in our sky. This creates ideal conditions for stargazing.

Since the lunar phases typically align somewhat closely with the calendar, a black moon is fairly rare. It occurs about once every 32 months, according to AccuWeather.

As for the other half of the name for Wednesday's moon, the term "supermoon" is used to describe when the moon is at its closest to the Earth. Since it's the far side that's lit up this time, the distance won't change what you see.

When two meteor showers both peaked on Monday night, the nearly new moon made for great viewing conditions. Good news: Though the peak has passed, you should still be able to take advantage of the viewing conditions and catch some meteors throughout the week, AccuWeather reports.

The black moon is the last big astronomy event in a month that also included a total solar eclipse in South America, saturn in opposition and a half-blood thunder moon.

For those that study astrology, the black moon coincides with the end of mercury in retrograde.

Mercury Retrograde: What it is and how it affects you


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