Home   Sun & Moon   Moon   Black Moon

When Is the next Black Moon?

There are several definitions of a Black Moon. It can be the third New Moon in an astronomical season with four New Moons or the second New Moon in the same calendar month.

Illustration image

The first days after a New Moon.

A Waxing Crescent Moon is visible the first days after a New Moon.

©bigstockphoto.com/mr. Smith

Black Moon is not a well known astronomical term. In recent years, the term has been made popular by social media, astrologers, and followers of the Wiccan religion.

No Single Definition

There is no single accepted definition of a Black Moon. The term has been commonly used to refer to any of the following phenomena associated with the New Moon:

  • Second New Moon in the same month: These Black Moons are the most common ones, and they occur about once every 29 months. Because of time zone differences, the month they happen in can vary, like the Black Moon in July 2019 (US) or August 2019 (UK).

  • Third New Moon in a season of four New Moons: These Black Moons are a little rarer, and occur about once every 33 months. We divide a year into four seasons - spring, summer, fall (autumn), and winter. Usually, each season has three months and three New Moons. When a season has four New Moons, the third New Moon is called a Black Moon. This is the exact counterpart to the original definition of a Blue Moon, except that Blue Moons are Full Moons.

  • No New Moon in February: About once every 20 years, there is no New Moon in February. This can only happen in February, as this is the only month which is shorter than a lunar month (lunation). When this occurs, both January and March have two New Moons, instead of just one, which is the norm.

    The next Black Moon by this definition will occur in 2033, while the last one was in 2014. Because of time zone differences, these Black Moons may not happen all over the world. For instance, there is a Black Moon in the most western parts of the US in February 2022, but not in Europe or Australia.

  • No Full Moon in February: About once every 20 years, February does not have a Full Moon. Instead, there are two Full Moons in January and March. The next Black Moon by this definition will occur in 2018, while the last one was in 1999. Because of time zone differences, these Black Moons may not happen all over the world.

Invisible New Moon

New Moon is the moon phase when none of the Moon's surface is illuminated, and we cannot see the Moon at all from Earth.

However, 2–5 times a year, the New Moon comes between Earth and the Sun, causing a solar eclipse. The New Moon, or at least a part of it, is then visible as a silhouette in front of the Sun.

Rare Black Moon Caused an Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, a Black Moon caused a total solar eclipse in the US. This particular Black Moon was the third New Moon in a season with 4 New Moons, which made it a rare combination.

Black Moons hold special significance to people who practice certain forms of Pagan religions and who believe certain actions become more potent when performed on the night of a Black Moon.

Topics: Astronomy, Moon, Calendar, Months

Recent/Upcoming Black Moons

YearDate/MonthType
2018FebCalendar month without a Full Moon
2019Jul 31Second New Moon in a single calendar month
2020Aug 18Third New Moon in a season with four New Moons

Black Moons can vary by time zone. Dates above are based on the local time in Washington DC. Change location

Advertising

Moon Phases In Your City

The Moon

  1. What Is a Supermoon?
  2. The Moon Illusion
  3. The Moon Phases
  4. The Moon's Effect on Tides
  5. What Is a Micro Moon?
  6. How Can Full Moon Be in the Daytime?
  7. Is a Blue Moon Blue?
  8. The Moon's Orbit
  9. The Far Side of the Moon
  10. What Is a Black Moon?
  11. What Are Moonbows?
  12. Full Moon Names
  13. Taking pictures of the Moon

Moon index

Moonrise & Moonset Times

Moon Distance

You might also like

First Quarter Moon in spring (Northern Hemisphere)

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon is a primary Moon phase when we can see exactly half of the Moon's surface illuminated. If it is the left or right half, depends on where you are on Earth. more

Waning Crescent Moon against a black night sky

Waning Crescent Moon

During the Waning Crescent Moon phase, the illuminated part of the Moon decreases from a semicircle at Third Quarter until it disappears from view entirely at New Moon. more

A Last Quarter Moon, also called Half Moon, where the left half of the Moon is lit up.

Third Quarter Moon

The Third or Last Quarter Moon is when the opposite half of the Moon is illuminated compared to the First Quarter. more

The Full Moon

The Full Moon is the moment the entire face of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun's rays. It is the 3rd primary phase. Each Full Moon has a name, except the Blue Moon. more