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.

Its daily progress is charted below, with all times are given in Ashburn local time.

Date Sun
sets at
sets at
Altitude of Moon
at sunset
Direction of Moon
at sunset
07 Sep 202119:3219:49west
08 Sep 202119:3020:17west
09 Sep 202119:2920:4414°west
10 Sep 202119:2721:1218°south-west
11 Sep 202119:2621:4222°south-west
12 Sep 202119:2422:1625°south-west
13 Sep 202119:2222:5726°south

The exact moment of new moon

At the moment of closest approach, it will pass within 4°56' of the Sun, in the constellation Leo. The celestial coordinates of the Sun and Moon will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 11h10m00s 10°43'N Leo 31'40"
Sun (centre) 11h02m 6°09'N Leo 31'44"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 6 Sep 2021

The sky on 6 September 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

29-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


29 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:52 14:38 20:24
Venus 10:07 15:36 21:06
Moon 05:57 12:58 19:49
Mars 07:33 13:46 19:59
Jupiter 18:38 23:53 05:08
Saturn 17:47 22:44 03:42
All times shown in EDT.


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

06 Sep 2021  –  New Moon
13 Sep 2021  –  Moon at First Quarter
20 Sep 2021  –  Full Moon
28 Sep 2021  –  Moon at Last Quarter

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.





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