Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

New Moon

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Moon feed

Objects: The Moon
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The sky at

The Moon will pass close to the Sun and become lost in the its 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. More information about the Moon's phases is available here.

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.

Observing the Moon in the days after new moon

Over coming days, the Moon will become 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.

The exact moment of new moon

At the moment of closest approach, it will pass within 0°04' of the Sun, in the constellation Cancer. The celestial coordinates of the Sun and Moon will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 08h05m50s 20°21'N Cancer 33'24"
Sun (centre) 08h05m 20°17'N Cancer 31'29"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 22 Jul 2024

The sky on 22 July 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:06 14:39 21:12
Venus 06:57 13:49 20:40
Moon 20:38 01:50 07:08
Mars 01:45 08:41 15:37
Jupiter 02:26 09:28 16:30
Saturn 22:21 04:07 09:53
All times shown in PDT.


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.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

21 Jul 2009  –  New Moon
28 Jul 2009  –  Moon at First Quarter
05 Aug 2009  –  Full Moon
13 Aug 2009  –  Moon at Last Quarter

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.


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