Sorry—This Week’s “Pink Moon” Isn’t What You Think It Is
But that doesn’t mean this month’s full moon is any less majestic.
This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.
If you thought you missed your chance to experience a rose-hued full moon last night, we have some news for you. First the bad news: the “pink moon” isn’t really pink at all. The good news? While you might not be able to see a candy-colored sight in the sky, you can still see a majestic full moon tonight and tomorrow.
According to Jonathan Kemp, a telescope specialist at Middlebury College Observatory, the April full moon is referred to as the “pink moon,” but the moniker refers not to the color of the moon, but the pink hued flowers (wild ground phlox) that historically blossom this time of year in the northern hemisphere (in the United States and Canada). The April full moon is also referred to as an “egg moon” or “grass moon,” Kemp says.
Though the full moon happened at 2:08 a.m. EST on April 11 and appeared full all night long, it doesn’t mean tonight and tomorrow’s moon isn’t still something to see. According to Kemp, the moon is still visible and prominent tonight and tomorrow night, as well, to the casual observer. Though astronomers wouldn’t call it a full moon anymore, it is still about 99 percent illuminated and is known as a waning gibbous moon, what is known as the week-long phase following a full moon and a last quarter moon.
So if you’re currently experiencing the warmer temperatures of spring where you live, head outside tonight with a picnic blanket, relax, and gaze up.