SCIENCE
09/27/2016 02:16 pm ET Updated Sep 28, 2016

A Rare Black Moon Is Gracing Our Skies This Friday

Your weekend is about to get astronomically better.

This September ends with the eerily named black moon rising.

On Friday night, watch for this relatively rare lunar event ― something that hasn’t happened since March 2014, according to AccuWeather.

So you’re probably wondering what a black moon is. It actually has a few definitions. The one we’re using here is a second new moon in a calendar month ― not to be confused with a blue moon, which is the second full moon in a calendar month.

This is a full moon -- not a new moon, black or otherwise.
Jeff Foott/Getty Images
This is a full moon -- not a new moon, black or otherwise.

Like other new moons, a black moon isn’t usually visible ― the name is a giveaway. But with the moonlight gone, it’s a prime time for stargazing. 

The new moon will officially occur at 8:11 p.m. EDT (5:11 p.m. PDT) on Friday in the Western Hemisphere. And it’ll take a few more nights before the moon in crescent form really starts to show, according to ScienceAlert. 

Because that same new moon will hit on Oct. 1 in the Eastern Hemisphere, it’s not a black moon for people there. But the Eastern Hemisphere will get its own black moon at the end of October, according to AccuWeather.

Otherwise busy this Friday? The next time two new moons will fall in the same month for the Western Hemisphere is July 2019.

Language has been updated to better explain what a black moon is.

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