Wednesday night is a black letter day, oops, yes, no topographical error here. February 18 will have a one night feature of a phenomenon called the “Black Moon”. Why is this happening? Let us examine the three possible reasons behind it.
If you haven’t noticed it, there are February months without new moon and full moon. This does not happen in other months. This is only common in February because it has fewer number of days. It has only 28 or 29 days while a lunar cycle has 29.5 days. This is the first reason.
It happened last year, 2014 and the next “Black Moon” will be in 2018.
The month has two new moons. There’s a second new moon, which is only possible during the month of February. This is the second reason.
The next reason is a little bit complicated. Scientists say that the “Black Moon” is actually the third new moon in an astronomical season which has 4 new moons. The new moon on February 18 is the 3rd new moon with the 4th new moon coming on March 20.
Another phenomenon will be happening during that time. March 20 will mark another total solar eclipse in the making. However it will only be completely visible from the arctic region. Observers will see the moon floating across the sun’s surface offering a spectacular sight.
The “Black Moon”, which is also the 3rd new moon on February 18, will last for 7 hours and 42 minutes, during the moon’s perigee, the closest it passes the earth. The moon will be only 115 kilometers farther away compared to its closest perigee of 2015 which occur on September 28. During these perigees there’s there are marked changes in the tidal activities on Earth.
Skywatchers will see the thinnest crescent moon immediately before or after a New Moon. Those who are interested to see this should have a powerful binoculars at hand and use it 45 minutes before sunrise or after sunset.
Any bad omens connected to this, like earthquakes, super typhoons, wars and famines? None that the scientists know of.