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2020’s largest and closest new moon supermoon occurs tonight

At the end of the month, we’ll see the year’s smallest and farthest full moon.
Credit: Getty Images

It’s a new moon supermoon in the sky tonight, but you won’t be able to see it. 

You generally can’t see a new moon because it’s the moon phase that’s most nearly between the Earth and sun, and the moon rises and sets with the sun.

The moon becomes a new moon supermoon when the first phase of the lunar cycle (new moon) coincides with the moon making its closest approach to Earth, a point known as the perigee of the moon’s orbit around the Earth.

We may not see tonight's new moon supermoon, but the tides in Earth’s oceans feel the closeness of it. High tides are higher and low tides are lower when the moon is at perigee.

Since we had a full moon on Oct. 1, and the lunar cycle takes 29.53 days, we'll have another full moon on Halloween night.

On Halloween night, we’ll also see the year’s smallest and farthest full moon. This is known as a micromoon. That Oct. 31 full moon will also be a blue moon because it’s the second full moon of the month. Halloween full moons are rare. 

After Oct. 31, 2020, the next Halloween full moon will occur in 2039, 2058, 2077 and 2096.

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