Rare Black Moon Could Be Ominous Sign-Truth! & Fiction!

Rare Black Moon Could Be Ominous Sign-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
A rare “Black Moon” event was scheduled to grace skies in September and October, and some are speculating that it’s a sign of of the apocalypse.
The Truth:
Rumors about “Black Moon” astronomical events in September and October are true — but internet hype surrounding the events probably won’t live up to expectations.
First, we’ll provide a little background on what, exactly, you can expect see during a Black Moon event. For that, we’ll turn to Science Alert, which provides a nice explainer on the relatively new astronomical event:

Some say a Black Moon occurs about once every 19 years, when the month of February skips a Full Moon.

Others say it describes a month that skips a new moon – the first phase of the lunar cycle, when the Moon and the Sun have the same elliptical longitude.

But the most common definition for a black moon is that it’s the second new moon in a calendar month, which means this Friday’s event is the second time in September that the Moon will be entirely invisible in the night sky – for those in the Western Hemisphere, at least.

If you’re familiar with your lunar cycles, you’ll know that a full moon occurs when the Earth-facing side of the Moon is completely illuminated by the Sun, thanks to its orbital position at a certain time of the month.

Space.com explains that there’s usually one full moon and one new moon each month, but sometimes the lunar cycle doesn’t align there’s multiple of each in the same month, or none of each:

From the Western Hemisphere, the new moon occurring on Friday, Sept. 30, is a Black Moon. Officially, it occurs at 8:11 p.m. Eastern Time (5:11 p.m. Pacific Time).

For the Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia), this new moon occurs after midnight on the calendar date of Oct. 1. So for this part of the world, this particular new moon is not the second one in the calendar month, but rather, the first! So it does not qualify as a Black Moon, and that hemisphere will have to wait until the end of the month for theirs. Indeed, for the billions living in the Eastern Hemisphere, the Black Moon will arrive on Oct. 30 or, if you live in eastern Asia, Japan, Australia or New Zealand, not until Oct. 31 (Halloween).

The Black Moon is a somewhat unusual celestial event — they occur about once every 32 months.

And, while a Black Moon is somewhat unusual in terms of lunar cycles, the moon won’t actually look different from the earth, just like a Blue Moon doesn’t actually appear blue, Smithsonian magazine reports:

The best example for a similar kind of lunar phase “branding” might be the “blue moon,” which is supposedly the black moon’s opposite. Like the black moon, the term describes a second new moon in a month, a blue moon is when a second full moon appears in the sky. But the association only goes back to the 1940s, Rao reports. The meaning comes from a misinterpretation of an arcane rule found in the now-defunct Maine Farmer’s Almanac by James Hugh Pruett in a 1946 article for Sky & Telescope. However, the term got picked up in the 1980s by a radio show and quickly became popularized.

It’s unclear whether or not “black moon” will become as widely-known as blue moon, especially given that there isn’t much for viewers to take in. In any case, if you clouds move in Friday, don’t worry—you wouldn’t have seen the moon anyway.

Simply put: don’t expect the moon to look any different during the Black Moon.
And whenever there’s a rare or somewhat rare astronomical event, there seems to be some kind of conspiracy theory or warning about the end of days attached to it. The Black Moon is no different.
There are rumors circulating social media that the Black Moon’s timing — less than a month after a “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse appeared over Africa — could be especially bad news for citizens of earth. The belief is that the two astronomical events align with biblical prophecy outlined in Luke 21:25-26:

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

We can’t speak to the conspiracy theory about the Black Moon triggering the apocalypse, but we can confirm that it’s a somewhat underwhelming astronomical event that will occur in September and of October 2016.