Stargazers can look up and marvel at the upcoming “Super Pink Moon” set to light up the sky on Tuesday, April 7.
With stay-at-home mandates and social distancing measures in place during the coronavirus pandemic, many newcomers to the nighttime hobby can take time to observe this lunar event.
Look up to enjoy the ‘Super Pink Moon’
Okay, so what is the Super Pink Moon, and when can you see it?
A supermoon occurs when a full moon is closest to Earth in its orbit, which makes it appear slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon. The Super Pink Moon is destined to be the biggest and brightest moon of 2020.
Tuesday afternoon at 2:08 PM EDT, the Moon will be at perigee, its closest to the Earth for this orbit.
According to NASA, the full moon occurs at 10:35 p.m. EDT on April 7.
“Watch for the biggest full moon of the year to shine all night long as it beams in the east after sunset April 7, climbs highest up for the night around midnight, and sets in the west around sunrise April 8,” EarthSky’s Bruce McClure said.
Despite its name, the Pink Moon won’t be pink at all. So why is it called that?
April’s Pink Moon gets its nickname from appearance of early spring flowers, the “moss pink” or the pink-colored wildflower phlox, the Old Farmer’s Almanac says.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Super Pink Moon is also the Paschal Full Moon — the first full moon of spring and the lunar event determining the date of Easter.
Easter is always observed the first Sunday after the Paschal moon. Easter Sunday falls on April 12 this year.
Viewing conditions will depend on the weather and skies in your area. As a reminder, if you step outside to view this lunar event, be mindful of social distancing guidelines.