February new moon 2022: The moon swings by Jupiter while winter constellations shine

The new moon occurs Tuesday (Feb. 1), at 12:46 a.m. EST (0546 GMT), a day before the moon makes a close approach to the planet Jupiter in the night sky. 

New moons occur when the sun and moon share the same celestial longitude, a projection of the Earth’s own longitude lines on the celestial sphere. This happens when the moon is directly between Earth and the sun; such alignment is also called a conjunction. The sunlit side of the moon faces away from us at the new moon, so unless there is a solar eclipse — the moon passing directly in front of the sun — new moons are invisible to earthbound observers.