If you’re up in the early morning hours with nothing to do, look no further– just look up. Tonight, you’ll be able to see April’s full Pink Moon.
Technically, the full moon reached its peak at 2:08 am EDT on Tuesday, April 11, and on the west coast, it occurred at 11:08pm PDT on Monday. Luckily, there’s still time to check it out– the full Pink Moon will be visible most of the week.
The term ‘Pink Moon’ comes from a Native American tradition– it was named after pink flowers called wild ground phlox. This week’s moon marks the first full moon of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and other names used to classify it are the Egg Moon, Fish Moon, and Sprouting Grass Moon, according to Space.com.
Stargazers should know the moon won’t actually appear rose-colored, and according to Accuweather, the pink color that sometimes occurs is because of an atmospheric phenomenon called rayleigh scattering. What’s extra special about April’s full moon is that Jupiter will be rising in the east at the same time, so you can catch the two together. Jupiter recently reached the point where it’s closest to Earth, which causes it to appear brighter than at any other time of year. Accuweather writes, “The proximity of the two objects in the sky will provide a great opportunity for photographers to capture the full moon and Jupiter in the same frame.”
As usual, the moon rises in full form around the time of religious holidays. Easter Sunday always falls on the Sunday following the full moon after the Spring Equinox. This year, Easter will take place on Sunday, April 16. The full moon in April also dictates the start of Jewish Passover. What can stargazers look forward to next? May 10 will be the Flower Moon, due to the fact that flowers tend to blossom in May. The Flower moon has its roots in corn planting, just in time for harvesting, according to The Moonlight Shop. June 9 will mark the Starwberry Moon, and July 9, the Buck Moon.