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An Unusual ‘Black Moon’ Coming on Friday; First Since 2014

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A view of a crescent moon setting, as seen by the Expedition 43 crew aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

This Friday, something unusual will happen in the sky over Los Angeles. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see it.

Sept. 30 marks the emergence of the “black moon” — when a second new moon rises in one month. Like all new moons, you cannot see it with the naked eye, because the side of the moon that’s lit by the sun is facing away from Earth.

A black moon is not in any way different from a regular new moon, except for the fact that it occurs in the same month of the calendar as a previous one. The last new moon rose on Sept. 1. The black moon will rise about 5 p.m. this Friday, the last day of the month.

Many news outlets have reported this as a “rare occurrence.” A handful have suggested it’s a harbinger of the apocalypse. Ian O’Neill, an astrophysicist and the senior producer for space at Discovery News and, says neither of those things are true.

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