You’ve heard of full moons, Harvest Moons, supermoons, and even Blue Moons. But what about Pink Moons? Well, that’s the name for the full moon that occurs in April.
What’s interesting is that the Pink Moon — occurring at 11:33 p.m. EST on Monday, April 26 — will also be a supermoon. That means it will appear larger and it will be brighter than other full moons.
Will It Be Pink?
Unfortunately, the Pink Moon will not appear pink. Like other moons, it will appear “golden” as it rises and then become bright white as it climbs overhead — just like every other month’s full moon.
The name “Pink Moon” doesn’t even come from any exciting mythology. Instead, April’s full moon is called the Pink Moon because it corresponds with “the early springtime blooms of a certain wildflower native to eastern North America: Phlox subulate — commonly called creeping phlox or moss phlox — which also went by the name ‘moss pink,’” The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains.
What’s A Supermoon?
The moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical, not circular. Although the distance between the moon and Earth varies throughout the month and even the year, the average distance is approximately 238,000 miles, a timeanddate.com article explains.
Since the moon has an elliptical orbit, however, there are times when it is closer to Earth than others. The point on the Moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth is called the perigee. When the moon is full when it reaches that point, it’s called a supermoon, the timeanddate.com article continues.
There is no official definition stipulating how close the moon must be to Earth to be considered a supermoon. Timeaddate.com considers the full moon to be a supermoon when it is less than 223,694 miles from the center of Earth. When that occurs, the moon will appear about seven percent larger than any other month’s full moon, and it will be approximately 15 percent brighter than other full moons.
How To View The Super Pink Moon
The moon will become full at exactly 11:33 p.m. EST on Monday, April 26, The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains. You can check here to determine the exact time the moon will become full in your local time.
That said, the best time to observe the Super Pink Moon won’t be when it is high overhead in the night sky. Instead, you’ll want to look for the full moon right around sunset. That’s because the moon appears largest when it is just above the horizon. This effect is called the “moon illusion,” a Newsweek article explains.
Pro Tip: Since the moon illusion occurs when the moon is low on the horizon, the best place to see it will be somewhere that offers an unobstructed view. Large fields, parking lots, and other places that don’t have trees or buildings blocking the horizon will be good places to see the Super Pink Moon. For more night sky tips, see all our best stargazing and night sky advice here, plus our list of 8 Incredible Stargazing Events Happening In 2021.