NEW moons hit our skies about once a month, plunging our nights (or early mornings) into darkness and the next one is today.
Here’s everything you need to know about the lunar phenomenon and when to watchh it in 2019.
2 A new moon happens every 29.5 days – when the side of the moon facing the Earth is in total darknessCredit: Rex Features
What is a new moon?
A new moon is when the Sun and moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the moon.
This means that Earth sees the dark side of the moon, as the Sun is shining on the opposite side.
The monthly phenomenon occurs because the trio’s alignment leaves the side of the moon facing the Earth in total darkness.
It happens every 29.5 days.
2 Its different from a lunar eclipse, pictured, which is when the Earth blocks the moon from sunlightCredit: AFP or licensors
The new moon also rises and sets at around the same time as the Sun, bringing it too close to the daytime star’s glare to be visible to the naked eye.
But we can see the moon again the next day, when a “waxing crescent” is in our skies.
The moon moves in four quarters with peaks called First Quarter, Full Moon, Third Quarter and the New Moon.
New moons in 2019
Janaury 6, 1.29am
February 4, 9.04pm
March 6, 4.05pm
April 5, 9.52am
May 4, 11.47pm
June 3, 11.02am
July 2, 8.17pm
August 1, 4.12am
August 30, 11.38am
September 28, 7.27pm
October 28, 3.30am
November 26, 3.07pm
December 26 5.15am
What’s the difference between a new moon and a lunar eclipse?
A new moon happens because of our changing view of the moon, which means we’re seeing the side that’s blocked from the Sun.
A lunar eclipse, on the other hand, happens when the Earth gets in the way of sunlight and stops it hitting the moon at all.
This only happens around once every six months.
Essentially, new moons happen when the moon is between the Sun and the Earth.
And lunar eclipses occur when the Earth is between the Sun and the moon.
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When is the next new moon?
The next new moon will occur on February 4.
You will be able to see it in the sky over Britain at 9.04pm.
There is one a month except in August when there are two – on August 1 and 30.
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