Bryce Canyon Milky Way

The Milky Way Galaxy as seen from the rim of Bryce Canyon's rocky rim on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in southern Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park is a colorful geological area popular with tourists and highlighted by eroded rock spires, called hoodoos. (AP Photo/ Ron Harris)

An astronomical event known as a "black moon" will happen tonight, though Lancaster County likely won't be able to see it — but, that's the point.

A black moon happens when four new moons happen during one season, according to Space.com. 

(Fun fact: the counterpart to the black moon is the blue moon, which happens when there are four full moons in one season.)

During a new moon, the moon comes between the sun and the Earth at an angle that illuminates the half of the moon that faces the sun, and shrouds the other side - which faces the Earth - in darkness.

This summer's new moons are on June 21, July 20, Aug. 19 and Sept. 17.

The moon is the brightest object in the sky at night. Without its illumination, usually dimmed stars appear brighter and look more plentiful in the night sky.

With tonight's black moon, viewers will not actually see the moon, but permitting clear conditions, the sky will be dark enough for stargazing.

The event happens about once every 32 months. The next black moon will not happen until May 19, 2023, according to Space.com.


For past astronomical coverage

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