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New Moon

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon will pass close to the Sun and become lost in the Sun's glare for a few days.

The Moon's orbital motion carries it around the Earth once every four weeks, and as a result its phases cycle from new moon, through first quarter, full moon and last quarter, back to new moon once every 29.5 days.

This motion also means that the Moon travels more than 12° across the sky from one night to the next, causing it to rise and set nearly an hour later each day. Click here for more information about the Moon's phases.

At new moon, the Earth, Moon and Sun all lie in a roughly straight line, with the Moon in the middle, appearing in front of the Sun's glare. In this configuration, we see almost exactly the opposite half of the Moon to that which is illuminated by the Sun, making it doubly unobservable because the side we see is unilluminated.

Over coming days, the Moon will rise and set an hour later each day, becoming visible in the late afternoon and dusk sky as a waxing crescent which sets soon after the Sun. By first quarter, in a week's time, it will be visible until around midnight.

At the moment of closest approach, it will pass within 0°18'of the Sun, in the constellation Virgo. The exact positions of the Sun and Moon will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 12h38m00s -03°46' Virgo 30'09"
Sun (centre) 12h37m -04°03' Virgo 31'58"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 18 August 2018
Sunrise
06:24
Sunset
20:00
Twilight ends
21:39
Twilight begins
04:46

7-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

53%

7 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:21 12:13 19:05
Venus 10:17 16:00 21:44
Moon 14:19 19:29 00:02
Mars 19:01 23:29 04:02
Jupiter 13:02 18:13 23:24
Saturn 16:47 21:31 02:19
All times shown in EDT.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

03 Oct 2005, 06:29 EDT  –  New Moon
10 Oct 2005, 15:02 EDT  –  Moon at First Quarter
17 Oct 2005, 08:15 EDT  –  Full Moon
24 Oct 2005, 21:18 EDT  –  Moon at Last Quarter

Image credit

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Ashburn

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39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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