April will see a PINK supermoon, bigger than 2020's other full moons
A ‘pink’ supermoon is set to appear in early April, marking the arrival of spring with the biggest and brightest lunar event of 2020
- The first full moon after the spring equinox will be a pink supermoon
- The pink supermoon will be visible on the evening of Friday, April 7th
- It’s named ‘pink’ in honor of a wildflower, not because the light is actually pink
The biggest and brightest supermoon of the year is set to take place in April.
The pink supermoon, sometimes called a Paschal full moon, will take place on April 7, filling the night sky with a bright and luminous tribute to the spring season.
The name comes from the Greek word for ‘passover,’ chosen because the pink supermoon is the first full moon to take place after the Spring Equinox, which occurred on March 20.
The next supermoon, referred to as a pink supermoon because it comes after the spring equinox, will take place on April 7
Even though it’s called a pink supermoon, the moonlight won’t actually be pink.
The ‘pink’ label was chosen in part as a reference to a type of wildflower native to North America called ‘phlox subulata,’ which has a vivid pink hue and is a common sign of spring, according to a report in Newsweek.
A supermoon typically only occurs once a year, when a full moon coincides with the moon also being at the closest orbital point to Earth, called a perigee.
Compared to standard full moons, supermoons can appear between seven and 14 percent larger and up to 30 percent brighter.
Supermoons are relatively rare because the moon’s orbital path around the Earth is elliptical instead of circular, meaning that full moons rarely occur when the moon is also at its perigee.
Rather, most full moons occur when the moon is further away from the Earth, making it seem dimmer and not quite as big as it does during a supermoon.
The pink supermoon is also the first full moon to take place after the spring equinox. It’s called pink not because of the color of its light, but after the ‘phlox subulata,’ a species of North American wild flower with a vivid pink hue that are a common sign of springtime
According to Tania de Sales Marques from the Royal Observatory, the pink supermoon is set to reach its peak on April 7th at 10:35PM EDT.
“The best thing to do is to wait until after the sun has set and the sky is dark, find an unobstructed view of the sky, and weather permitting you should get to see a slightly brighter than usual full moon,” said de Sales Marques told Newsweek.
“And if you’re thinking of taking a picture to mark the occasion, just be aware that you’ll need proper equipment, such as a camera with a long telephoto lens, as the moon captured on a phone will look more like a blob.”
WHAT IS A SUPERMOON?
A supermoon takes place when the moon is full and its orbit at its perigee point is closest to Earth.
As the moon orbits in an ellipse its closest point – the perigee – will come very close to earth. The farthest point of the ellipse is called the apogee.
When a full moon appears at perigee, the moon looks brighter and larger than a regular moon, hence the nickname supermoon.
February 19 will see the second lunar spectacle in a supermoon trilogy.
The first supermoon was the ‘Blood Wolf Super Moon’ on January 21 and the third will take place on March 21.
On February 19, the moon will be 221,734 miles from Earth.
For New Yorkers, the moon will rise at 5.46pm and will set at 7.35am on February 20, as per the U.S. Naval Observatory.
And it’ll be officially full at 10.53am EST according to NASA’s Skycal.
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