Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Sorry Guys, But That 'Black Moon' Is Going To Be A Whole Lot Of Nothing

Our June member drive is live: protect this resource!
Right now, we need your help during our short June member drive to keep the local news you read here every day going. This has been a challenging year, but with your help, we can get one step closer to closing our budget gap. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership.

Please don't shoot the messenger, but we have to report that tonight's much-hyped "black moon" is going to be a giant can of nothing sauce. There will literally be nothing to see.

You're familiar with the concept of a new moon, right? It's pretty simple. A new moon is the opposite of a full moon: instead of the nearside of the moon being bathed in light and fully illuminated, the nearside of the moon is totally in shadow, and therefore completely dark. Well, a black moon is just what we call the second new moon in a month with two new moons.

"In September, we had a new moon at the beginning of the month, and we have another new moon at the end of the month," As Stephen Edberg, an astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory told LAist. "That second new moon is just called a black moon. The new moon, in that sense, is always black. We never get to see it unless it's during a total or partial solar eclipse."

The first new moon of the month occurred on September 1 and tonight's new moon will rise on September 30, which means that, despite technically falling during the same calendar month, the two new moons are basically a month apart anyway. At best, one could call it a scheduling fluke, and not a particularly rare one at that. According to CBS this type of lunar event occurs about once every 32 months, or just a little over every two-and-a-half years.

"There is really not much to it, there's just a name for it," Edberg said. To further kill the hype, the black moon phenomenon isn't even that rare.

"It's sort of a funny story," Edberg said. "I was talking to some astronomer friends of mine just two or three weeks ago and I said 'Hey, we've got two new moons in September,' which is something that amateur astronomers like because it's darker moon so you get to see the best stuff in the sky. He said 'Is there a name for it?' and 'I said I never heard of one.' I had to look it up yesterday."

Not everyone, however, shares Edberg's sentiment about the (un)importance of the lunar event. As Vicky Adams, owner of Panpipe Magickal Marketplace, in Hollywood told LAist, "Not only do we have the black moon tonight, but it's also Venus in Scorpio, so it's a great time to work with the divine, empowering feminine qualities of the Goddess Lilith. Despite it imparting a dark impression, it's a great opportunity to cast off all that no longer serves you and has been holding you back. It's a very positive, empowering and healing time. It helps redirect us into a more positive and productive current."

"There's so much to this," she added.

Most Read