June new moon 2020: See the moon eclipse the sun after a close pass with Venus

The new moon occurs Sunday (June 21), at 2:41 a.m. EDT (0741 GMT), just two days after the waning moon makes a close predawn pass to Venus and a day after the solstice. As an added bonus, observers in a region from eastern Africa to the Pacific coast of Asia will see a solar eclipse. 

When the moon is directly between the Earth and sun, we call that a new moon. About every 29.5 days the two bodies share the same celestial longitude, an alignment also called a conjunction. (Celestial longitude is a projection of the Earth’s own longitude lines on the celestial sphere). Usually the moon “misses” the sun from the perspective of the Earth, because the moon’s orbit is slightly tilted with respect to the plane of the Earth’s orbit. Every now and then, though, the moon lines up perfectly with the sun. The shadow of the moon touches the Earth, and some are treated to an eclipse. 



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