Black Moon 2022: A rare occurrence in the night sky
April 30 will have the first solar eclipse of this year, but we in India will not be able to see it. It will mostly be visible in thinly populated parts of the world. Given that the eclipse is going to happen on a new moon night, here's why it is called Black Moon, and why is it so special.
April's second new moon
A full moon refers to the phase when the moon's Earth-facing side is fully illuminated by sunlight, and we get to see a glowing round Moon. A new moon refers to when the moon's Earth-facing side is fully in shadow. The Moon does not become black, but invisible like in any new moon situation. The awaited Black Moon is April's second new moon.
Why is it called the Black Moon?
The term Black Moon is mostly used to refer to any event associated with the new moon, because the moon is invisible, hence black. People in the Antarctic and Atlantic region, Pacific Ocean, and South America will be able to view this. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac every new moon is a Black Moon since the moon's dark or black side is "visible."
What will happen?
We will experience a rare occurrence called the Black Moon on April 30, coinciding with the partial solar eclipse. According to NASA, just before and during sunset the Moon will block about 65% of the Sun, resulting in a partial eclipse. Solar eclipses happen when the Sun, Moon, and Earth align in one line with the celestial bodies casting a shadow on our planet.
Why does it matter?
Well, this time we will actually be able to see the new moon! New moons are usually invisible, with the night sky illuminated by just stars and no moon. However, this time, the new moon will be somewhat visible since it will be covering a part of the Sun to generate an eclipse. The second solar eclipse this year is on October 25.