WTF Fun Fact 12965 – The New Moon

Have you ever heard that there was a new Moon only to look up at the sky and see no moon at all? Well, that’s because the Moon cycle is starting all over again.

Types of Moons

We obviously only have one Moon, but it goes through lots of phases. A “new” Moon is the opposite of a full Moon. During a full Moon, the sun is fully illuminating one side of the big ball. That’s what makes it glow so brightly in the night sky.

During the time when the Moon is “new,” we are seeing the side that is not illuminated by the sun. The Moon is still up there, but without the sun shining on it, we can’t see it in the night sky.

According to Farmer’s Almanac (cited below) “When the Moon is “new,” it’s located between the Earth and the Sun. In other words, the Moon is in line with the Sun, and the Sun and Earth are on opposite sides of the Moon. (Note that when the Moon is perfectly aligned in front of the Sun, it blocks out the Sun, giving us a solar eclipse.)”

Lunar cycles and the new Moon

The new Moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle. This lasts 29.5 days, and it’s the amount of time it takes for the moon to orbit the Earth.

The Moon cycle used to be used to measure months (each new moon signaled a new month).

Another fun fact: the new Moon always rises close to the time of sunrise.

And according to The Farmer’s Almanac:

“As the new Moon crosses the sky during the day, rising and setting around the same time as the Sun, it’s lost in the solar glare…The new Moon is also lit up from behind, showing us its dark side. It’s doubly invisible. New Moons generally can’t be seen with the naked eye.”

About a day (maybe two) after a new lunar cycle begins, you’ll be able to look up at the night sky and see a slim crescent off to the West after the sun sets. These crescent moons are often very bright.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Learn All About the New Moon” — Almanac

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