The new moon will be making its closest approach to Earth tonight since the year 1030. This implies that the moon has not been this close to our home planet in the past 993 years. How does the new moon occur? How can you spot it tonight? Continue reading to find out.
How does the new moon occur?
The new moon occurs whenever the illuminated half of the moon is not facing our direction. This implies that our neighboring celestial body may appear invisible tonight as we may see only a dark night sky. However, skywatchers can spot the new moon with their telescopes and binoculars when they look in the right direction. Unlike new moons that have occurred over the years, tonight’s new moon possesses unique features that make it unique.
What you should know about the new moon that will surface tonight
Tonight’s new moon is a special one as it has not been this close in nearly 1,000 years. The new moon that will surface today will show up at 3:54 p.m. EST (2054 GMT), today January 21. Timeanddate.com revealed that the moon will be located 221,561 miles (356,568 km) away from earth at the exact time. Astronomers were able to conclude the exact distance from the data obtained from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
NASA’s officials working at this laboratory often deploy sophisticated technologies in determining the exact distances of every Earth-moon distance for hundreds of years. The last time the new moon was this close was in the year 1030. The next time the new moon will make a close approach to Earth will be on January 20, 2368. At that time, astronomers estimate that our closest neighboring celestial body will move 6 miles (9 km) closer to Earth than tonight’s approach.
Since the moon’s orbit is elliptical and not a perfect circle, its distance from our home planet will change from time to time. The average distance between the moon to Earth is about 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away. However, its elliptical orbit makes this distance change with time.
Unlike when the moon takes its full shape during the Supermoon, tonight’s new moon may appear invisible as the Earth’s skies will appear completely dark. However, the tides will still feel the impact of the invisible supermoon. Astronomers are suggesting that Earth will surely experience high tide within this period.
The emergence of tonight’s invisible supermoon marks the Lunar New Year celebration in China and other Asian countries. Hence, tonight’s new moon is needed a special one for Asians and lovers of astronomy across the world.
How you can Watch tonight‘s Astronomical event
Since the new moon will not be visible when viewed with the naked eye, you will need a telescope to see it. Hence, if you have telescopes or binoculars, you can use your tool wisely to spot the moon from 221,561 miles (356,568 km) away from earth.
You can set up your equipment before 3:54 p.m. EST (2054 GMT) tonight and stand the chance to enjoy this once in lifetime astronomical event that will not occur again until 2368. As you set up your telescopes, ensure that you are in a region that is not affected by light pollution and other factors that may reduce your skywatching experience. You can share your experience with us when you must have completed the observation. You can check out this telescope for the best skywatching experience.
Tonight’s new moon is indeed a unique one as you will not stand the chance of seeing the new moon this close again in your lifetime. Hence, use your telescope wisely to capture the best view of our closest neighboring celestial body tonight. Aside from the new supermoon, Saturn and Venus will also be in conjunction tomorrow and they will be joining the new moon as well. Hence, we have a great astronomical event to skywatch this weekend. Are you going to watch the skies tonight?