Micro Moon 2019: When is the next New Moon and why is it a Micro Moon?

The January Full Moon peaked on the morning of Monday, January 21, during the Blood Moon total eclipse. The bright Moon is now slowly fading into darkness as the sunlit face of the Moon shrinks to be replaced by a Micro New Moon. Tonight (January 23) the Moon is in its Waning Gibbous Phase, meaning it is in the last stretch of the monthly lunar cycle. When viewed from the UK tonight, the Moon will be between 98 and 92 percent lit up.

When is the next New Moon phase?

As the Moon orbits the Earth every 29 days, or so, it goes through a number of phases.

The lunar phases are the New Moon, the First Quarter Moon, the Waxing Gibbous, the Full Moon, the Waning Gibbous and the Last Quarter Moon.

Each of these phases has a distinct look dictated by the amount of sunlight falling on the Moon’s face.

The New Moon is the first stage of the lunar cycle and is marked by a complete lack of sunlight.

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Because of this, the New Moon is practically invisible when observed from the Earth.

The next New Moon will peak in the evening hours of Monday, February 4, and it will be a Micro Moon as well.

In the UK, the New Moon will reach zenith around 9.10pm GMT.

On the night of the New Moon, you will not be able to spot the lunar orb in the skies above you.

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What is a Micro Moon?

As the New Moon peaks ay night next month, it will do so at its farthest possible distance from the Earth.

Because of this, the New Moon despite not being seen will look smaller than on any other night of the year.

As a result, astronomers refer to this type of Moon as a Micro Moon – the opposite of the Supermoon we saw during the Blood Moon eclipse.

Because the Moon does not follow a perfectly circular path around our home world, it is farther and closer to Earth at different points in its orbit.

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The closest orbital point is known as the perigee and the most distant is the apogee.

Scientists will also refer to a Micro Moon as an Apogean Moon and the Supermoon as a Perigean Moon.

Space agency NASA said: “When a full Moon occurs near the furthest part of the Moon’s orbit – so that it appears smaller and dimmer than usual.

“Given many definitions, at least one Supermoon occurs each year.”

source: express.co.uk