THE NEW year is bringing with it a New Moon, which is the best time of the month to stargaze, according to astronomers.
On January 2, we will experience a "New Moon" at 18:35 UTC(or 1:35 PM Eastern Time) that will make you want to pick up your binoculars and check out the night sky.
The moon goes through eight phases every month; these phases are called: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent.
The New Moon phase occurs when the moon's orbit moves it between the Earth and the Sun.
When this event happens, the moon's surface appears dark because the illuminated side is facing away from the Earth.
A New Moon is usually completely invisible to the naked eye without special equipment, such as a high-powered telescope, however, it is visible during a solar eclipse.
As the moon continues to orbit around the Earth, more and more of the moon's illuminated part becomes visible to us until it reaches the "Full Moon" phase.
According to celestial body experts, a New Moon is considered the best time to observe faint objects such as planets, and stars because there is no moonlight to brighten the sky.
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Therefore experts recommend going stargazing in the days just before, during, and soon after a New Moon, when there is no moon visible in the sky.
During this phase, depending on where you are, you could see thousands of stars with just your naked eye, compared to just a few hundred at other times.
Your stargazing experience will also greatly benefit from going to an area without much city lights or pollution, as these factors can distort the number of stars you see, as well.
And if you have a telescope on hand, a New Moon can make it very easy to spot galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters.
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