A relatively rare astronomical event taking place on Friday has raised eyebrows among conspiracy theorists who contend it could signal the proverbial 'beginning of the end.'
The phenomenon, known as a 'Black Moon,' occurs once every 32 months when there is a second new moon within the same month.
Its ominous moniker comes from the fact that the moon will essentially be invisible as it is fully enveloped by the Earth's shadow.
Stargazers are looking forward to Friday evening's Black Moon and see it as an opportunity to get a better view of various celestial bodies in the night sky.
Concerned conspiracy theorists, however, are not as excited about the event occurring later this week.
Noting that the month of September began with a solar eclipse, some researchers worry that the events were foretold long ago in a warning to the human race.
They cite a specific Biblical passage, Matthew 24:29, which says that in the End Times, "the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven."
The eerie similarities between the text and this month's eclipse as well as Black Moon have fueled fears that they are a harbinger of dire End Times predictions about to unfold.
That said, considering that a Black Moon happens about every two-and-a-half years, it stands to reason that such a coupling with an eclipse has occurred in the past.
Therefore this particular pair of events is probably not confirmation of an impending Armageddon.
Fortunately for conspiracy theorists, there will almost certainly be future 'warnings' to be found scattered amongst the stars in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
And, unfortunately for us, one of these days they just might be right.