What is a new moon?

The new Moon phase is a period of time when the Moon is positioned between Earth and the sun. This means that they are all approximately lined up in a row. They are not exactly line up because if they were and we were looking up, we would see a solar eclipse, an event where the Moon nearly blocks out the sun. Such events are rare however so we refer to the alignment as approximate instead of exact. For additional information on the topic, see “Approximate verses Exact and Solar/Lunar Eclipses.” At all times, the sun illuminates half the Moon. During a new Moon, the entire illuminated side is facing away from us. As a final note, the Moon rises with the sun.