This Saturday, the full moon in April, dubbed the Pink Moon – not for its color, but for the phlox flower that blossoms in early spring – will shine brightly.
It begins with a goldish hue and is also known as the Paschal Moon, from which the Christian calendar calculates the day of Easter.
The full moon will be at its brightest on Saturday, April 16, at 2:55 p.m. EDT, and will remain so until Monday morning. Around dusk is the ideal time of day to see the full moon.
On Saturday, the moon will rise in London at 7:47 p.m. BST, New York at 7:44 p.m. EDT, and Los Angeles at 7:41 p.m. PDT.
According to NASA, the April full moon is known by a variety of distinct names – some borrowed from Native American cultures – that were included for the first time in the Maine Farmer’s Almanac in the 1930s.
The almanac was the first to refer to it in literature as the Pink Moon, after the plant moss pink, also called creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox.
‘This is a plant native to the eastern U.S. that is one of the earliest widespread flowers of spring,’ according to NASA.
The Pink Moon is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon since it occurs around the period when shad migrate upstream to spawn.
Outside of Native American tradition, the moon is also referred to as the Pesach or Passover Moon, since Passover starts at sunset on Friday, April 15, and concludes at dusk on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
Easter is computed in the Christian ecclesiastical calendar using the Paschal Moon. Easter is observed in western Christianity on Sunday, April 17 – the Sunday after this spring’s first full moon.
A full moon happens when the moon is directly opposite the Earth from the sun, illuminating its whole face.
Four of the five visible planets will appear in a line above the east-southeastern horizon on the morning of a full moon.
Saturn will appear 15 degrees above the southeastern horizon in the upper right, Mars 12 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon, Venus 8 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon, and Jupiter 2 degrees above the eastern horizon in the lower left.
The full moon will appear 11 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon, near the lower left of the brilliant star Spica.
At 83 degrees above the eastern horizon, the brightest star visible above will be Vega. Vega is our night sky’s fifth brightest star and the brightest of the Summer Triangle’s three stars.
Vega is around twice the mass of our Sun, 40 times brighter, and approximately 25 light-years away.
Mercury will show as a brilliant dot of light just above the west-northwestern horizon on the evening of the full moon.
The brilliant stars of our galaxy’s local arm will seem scattered over the west-southwestern horizon. According to NASA, Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky, will shine 24 degrees above the southwestern horizon.
May’s full moon is dubbed the Flower Moon, and it will also be dubbed the Blood Moon due to the fact that it will coincide with a complete lunar eclipse, which will cause the moon to become a crimson tint for 84 minutes.