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June 24 new moon is a supermoon

June 24 new moon occurs on June 23 for the Americas. It’s a supermoon, but not the closest one of 2017.

A new moon is more or less between the Earth and sun. Its lighted half is turned entirely away from us. This simulation of a new moon is via memrise.com.

A moon at the new phase comes most nearly – for any particular month – to passing between the Earth and sun. This month’s new moon is June 24, 2017 at 02:31 UTC; translate to your time zone. This new moon is 2017’s third supermoon. The new moons of April, May and June 2017 are all supermoons, though April’s was the most super.

You thought only full moons could be supermoons? Nope. The moon can come close to Earth at the new phase as well, and, at such times, the moon’s effect on earthly tides is particularly strong. Read more about how the sun and moon affect the tides

Modern techniques – telescopes, filters, photography – have made it possible to see the moon even at the instant it becomes new. That’s the case with Thierry Legault’s image, below, which he acquired in 2013. Read more about Thierry’s image here.

View larger. | Youngest possible lunar crescent, with the moon's age being exactly zero when this photo was taken — at the precise moment of the new moon - at 07:14 UTC on July 8, 2013.  Image by Thierry Legault.  Visit his website.  Used with permission.

Youngest possible lunar crescent, with the moon’s age being exactly zero when this photo was taken — at the instant of new moon – 0714 UTC on July 8, 2013. Image by Thierry Legault. Visit his website.

For most of us – on the day of new moon – unless we’re viewing an eclipse of the sun, we won’t see the new moon. That’s because a new moon rises when the sun rises. It sets when the sun sets. It crosses the sky with the sun during the day.

A new moon is too close to the sun’s glare to be visible with the eye. You can see a new moon with the eye only during the stirring moments of a total solar eclipse, like the one coming up just two lunations (or lunar cycles) from now.

Composite image of a 2006 solar eclipse by Fred Espenak.  Read his article on the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, first one visible from contiguous North America since 1979.

The next solar eclipse will be total and visible from North America. It’ll be the first total solar eclipse visible from contiguous North America since 1979. Read more about the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Composite image of a 2006 solar eclipse by Fred Espenak.

It’s only as the moon moves in orbit, as its lighted hemisphere begins to come into view from Earth, that we can see it in our sky. Then we see the moon in the west after sunset as a slim waxing crescent – what some call a young moon.

Most of us will see the young moon return to the evening sky around June 25 …

Watch for the young moon to return around the evening of June 25. It’ll be in the west, shortly after sunset. Read more.

As the moon orbits Earth, it changes phase in an orderly way. Follow these links to understand the various phases of the moon.

Four keys to understanding moon phases

Where’s the moon? Waxing crescent
Where’s the moon? First quarter
Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous
What’s special about a full moon?
Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous
Where’s the moon? Last quarter
Where’s the moon? Waning crescent
Where’s the moon? New phase

Total eclipse of the sun: August 21, 2017

Moon in 2017: Phases, cycles, eclipses, supermoons and more

Deborah Byrd

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