Get set for a special Super moon - a Black Moon | Feb 18 2015
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Not only will there be a Super Moon on display this month but it will also be classed as a much rarer black moon. Don't be fooled by the name though folks, a black moon is just a rare occurrence that is similar in appearance rates to the better known blue moon.
First things first, by definition, the moon next week will be a Super Moon as it will be orbiting at its' closest point to the Earth and therefore be brighter and larger than usual. It will also be designated as a new moon as it is in between the Earth and the Sun on the 18th of the month.
To qualify as a black moon, 1 of 3 different criteria laid out by Universe Today must be met. It must be either: 1. A month which is missing a full or new moon(this can only happen in February as it is the only month with less days than the 29.5 day lunar cycle); 2. A second new moon in a month with two new moons which can happen in any of the other 11 calendar months or; 3. The third new moon in an astronomical period with four new moons.
In the case of the Super Moon on February 18th, it falls under number 3 as it is set to be the 3rd full moon since in this astronomical period which began on the Winter Solstice and will finish at the March Equinox. This is quite rare for an astronomical period to have 4 new moons.
People are urged to look to the sky on the 18th of February in the hopes of there being little cloud interference to block a clear view of the black moon. Be sure to appreciate the extra luminosity and size of the moon next week but don't expect to see a moon which is black in colour once look skyward!