Full ‘pink moon’ glows brightly

The Pink moon will be three days past perigee. The point in its orbit where the natural satellite is nearest to Earth. So it will almost be a “supermoon,” appearing larger than average.

Supermoons happen when the full moon coincides with perigee. But the difference in size even for these “super” satellites is usually too small for any but the most careful observers to notice. 

For observers on the U.S. East Coast, the Pink Moon will rise at about 8 p.m. the evening of April 19 and set at around 7 a.m. the next morning, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. The moon will be in the constellation Virgo.

The sun will rise about an hour before moonset on April 20, so for about an hour, the nearly full moon and the sun will both appear in the sky. 

The names used by the Almanac come from Native peoples, who observed the seasons by giving each moon a distinctive name. The full pink moon draws from the appearance of “moss pink” or wild ground phlox, an early spring flower that flourishes around this time of year. Alternative names for this moon are “sprouting grass moon,” “egg moon,” and “fish moon.”

Full ‘pink moon’ glows brightly

So, how can you see this pink moon?

The Almanac says it will reach peak fullness at 7:12 A.M. (EDT) on Friday, April 19. But for the most clear view, start looking for it on the night of the 18th. The moon will be near peak fullness, but most visible against a completely dark sky.

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