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 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.

Its day-by-day progress is charted below, with all times are given below in Cambridge local time.

Date Sun
sets at
Moon
sets at
Altitude of Moon
at sunset
Direction of Moon
at sunset
12 Aug 202619:4920:01west
13 Aug 202619:4820:25west
14 Aug 202619:4620:4710°west
15 Aug 202619:4521:0714°west
16 Aug 202619:4321:2817°south-west
17 Aug 202619:4221:5019°south-west
18 Aug 202619:4022:1620°south-west

At the moment of closest approach, it will pass within 0°53'of the Sun, in the constellation Leo. The exact positions of the Sun and Moon will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 09h29m20s +15°46' Leo 32'32"
Sun (centre) 09h28m +14°55' Leo 31'34"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 12 August 2026
Sunrise
05:48
Sunset
19:50
Twilight ends
21:39
Twilight begins
03:58

29-day old moon
Waning Crescent

0%

29 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:29 11:49 19:09
Venus 09:48 15:39 21:30
Moon 05:42 12:48 19:54
Mars 01:45 09:23 17:01
Jupiter 04:53 12:08 19:22
Saturn 21:59 04:18 10:33
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 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

12 Aug 2026  –  New Moon
14 Aug 2026  –  The Moon at perihelion
19 Aug 2026  –  Moon at First Quarter
22 Aug 2026  –  The Moon at apogee

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

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