New Moon Phase


What is a new moon? The astronomical new moon, sometimes known as the dark moon to avoid confusion, occurs by definition at the moment of conjunction in ecliptic longitude with the Sun, when the Moon is invisible from the Earth. This means that the Sun and Earth are on the opposite sides of the Moon, and only the dark side of the moon faces the Earth. This moment is unique and does not depend on location, and in certain circumstances it coincides with a solar eclipse. Each new lunar cycle is measured beginning at each new moon.

New Moon Dates / Next New Moon

When is the next new moon? The average calendrical month, which is 1/12 of a year, is about 30.44 days, while the Moon’s phase (synodic) cycle repeats on average every 29.53 days. Therefore the timing of the Moon’s phases shifts by an average of almost one day for each successive month. To find out the new moon dates, please see the new moon calendar below.

New Moon and The Moon Phases

New Moon

New Moon

The new moon occurs when the moon is positioned between the Earth and the Sun. The three objects are in approximate alignment. The entire illuminated portion of the moon is on the back side of the moon, the half that we cannot see.

Each lunar cycle begins with a new moon. As the Moon moves eastward away from the Sun in the sky, we see a bit more of the sunlit side of the Moon each night. We call this waxing. After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half illuminated, so it is a waxing crescent moon. When half of the Moon’s disc is illuminated, we call it the first quarter moon. As the sunlit portion continues to increase, now more than half illuminated, it becomes waxing gibbous moon. When the Moon reaches maximum illumination, a full moon, the Moon has completed one half of the lunar month.

During the second half of the lunar month, the Moon grows thinner each night. We call this waning. The waning gibbous moon phase occurs first, followed by the last quarter moon when half of the Moon’s disc is illuminated. Next is the waning crescent moon, which wanes until the illumination is completely gone; a new moon.

New Moon Calendar 2016

The new moon calendar for 2012 is expressed in Coordinated Universal Time (UT), the international basis for other time zones. At the time of the new moon, the moon rises at about the same time the sun rises, and it sets at about the same time the sun sets. Astronomers call one lunar cycle a lunation. For new moon times in your city, please use the Time Zone Converter. You may also simply subtract five (5) hours to get to U.S. Eastern Time.

Full MoonYearDateTimeDay
Wolf Moon2016Jan 2401:46Sun
Snow Moon2016Feb 2218:20Mon
Worm Moon2016Mar 2312:01Wed
Pink Moon2016Apr 225:24Fri
Flower Moon2016May 2121:15Sat
Strawberry Moon2016Jun 2011:02Mon
Buck Moon2016Jul 1922:57Tue
Sturgeon Moon2016Aug 1809:27Thu
Harvest Moon2016Sep 1619:05Fri
Hunters Moon2016Oct 1604:23Sun
Beaver Moon2016Nov 1413:52Mon
Cold Moon2016Dec 2400:06Sat

New Moon Solar Eclipse

Sometimes, if the Moon lies directly between the Earth and the Sun during the new moon phase, a solar eclipse occurs as the Earth enters the Moon’s shadow. In most locations on Earth, only a fraction of the Sun will be obscured, in a partial solar eclipse. Locations where the center of the shadow passes over experience a total eclipse in which the Moon completely obscures the Sun, or an annular or ring eclipse, in which the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than the Sun.

New Moon Original Meaning

The original meaning of the phrase “new moon” was the first visible crescent of the Moon, after conjunction with the Sun. This takes place over the western horizon in a brief period between sunset and moonset, and therefore the precise time and even the date of the appearance of the new moon by this definition will be influenced by the geographical location of the observer.

Popular Full Moon Calendars

Some popular full moon calendars, in addition to the New Moon calendar, include the following: Moon Calendar 2011, Moon Calendar 2012, Moon Calendar 2013, Moon Calendar 2014, Moon Calendar 2015, Moon Calendar 2016, Moon Calendar 2017, Moon Calendar 2018, Moon Calendar 2019, Moon Calendar 2020.

You can also check out our Full Moon Calendar, Lunar Calendar, Lunar Eclipse Calendar and Solar Eclipse Calendar!