• Simma Sky: Dorian and The Black New Moon

    By: Corey Simma

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - August wound down with a phenomenon that is rarely seen in the night sky. Actually, it's NEVER seen. August ended with a new moon. Big whoop, right? August also STARTED the month with a new moon on the east coast. When two new moons occur in the same month, the second one is known as a BLACK moon. Yeah. That's why it's a big whoop. According to space.com, black moons occur once in about 32 months and sometimes only occur in certain time zones. 


    Photo courtesy space.com and NASA describing the moon's orbit around the Earth and various phases

    Space.com also gives a great description of why the moon is known as "new" once a cycle. The moon basically becomes new again. It faces the sun - though we on earth can't tell - and is bathed in new light and "made new" again. It's important to note that the only thing that changes in this scenario is OUR perspective of the moon. The sun is always shining on it, we just can't always tell!

    Tides on earth are enhanced during new and full moons because of gravitational forces between the moon and the earth. Jacksonville/NE Florida experienced a new moon the last week of August, which enhanced the tides along area beaches. Hurricane Dorian was tracking toward the area at this time, and original forecasts had Dorian near NE Florida around the same time as the new moon cycle. Dorian slowed down, which prevented the higher than normal tides from being even higher.

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