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An invisible ‘black moon’ will rise tonight

A full moon is seen over the Youngmeyer Ranch in the Flint Hills in 2014.
A full moon is seen over the Youngmeyer Ranch in the Flint Hills in 2014. The Wichita Eagle

You may have heard that an ominous-sounding “black moon” will rise tonight.

But what does that mean? And why won’t we be able to see it?

“A ‘Black Moon’ is simply a name for when two New Moons happen to fall on days during same calendar month,” according to NASA.

A new moon is the start of the next lunar cycle. It’s when the moon’s orbit passes between us and the sun. The illuminated side of the moon will face the sun while the dark side will face Earth.

That means the moon seems to disappear from the sky completely.

“A New Moon is impossible to see – except during a solar eclipse,” according to NASA.

It’s never too early to remind you that there will be a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017. Part of its path will cross through northeastern Kansas.

The "harvest moon" is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, the beginning of northern fall. (Courtesy of Science at NASA)

Learn how February's full moon came to be known as the "Full Snow Moon."

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