Heads up! A “Super Pink Moon” will brighten up the night skies on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. It will be the first supermoon of the year so don’t be surprised when you look up tomorrow evening and the moon looks brighter and bigger than usual.
According to the astronomical diary of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the upcoming full moon is a supermoon with a perigee distance of 357,378 km away from Earth. It is the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit, resulting in a slightly larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth.
Will the Super Pink Moon really look bigger than usual? According to Forbes, it will look 6% larger than the average full Moon, and 14% bigger than some full Moons. Because of this, the moon will also look up to 30% brighter than the average full Moon.
When is the best time to view the Pink Moon?
According to Forbes, the best view is going to be at moonrise on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, about 45 minutes to an hour after sunset. NASA also stated that the Moon will appear full for about three days and will be fairly easy to spot as long as the skies are clear.
Why is it called a Pink Moon?
Though it is called a Pink Moon, it doesn’t mean the moon will illuminate in a pink color. According to Gordon Johnston of NASA Science Solar System Exploration, the Pink Moon was coined from the Maine Farmer’s Almanac published in the 1930s. The almanac began publishing American Indian Moon names for the months of the year and the full moon in April is called the Pink Moon because a native plant called herb moss pink, also known as creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox. The said plant one of the earliest plants to bloom during spring.
PAGASA explained that while the real association of the Moon with both oceanic and crustal tides has led to claims that the supermoon phenomenon may be associated with an increased risk of events like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but no such link has been found. The term was popularized by astrologer Richard Nolle and has no precise astronomical definition.
To astronomers, the supermoon is called a perigee-syzygy, wherein perigee means the closest point the moon is from the Earth during its orbit, while syzygy means a line-up of three or more celestial bodies, in this case, the Earth, Moon, and Sun.
The next supermoon of the year will be the Supermoon Flower Moon on May 26, 2021.