clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A pink supermoon will light up the night sky later this month

Although the cosmic event is called a pink moon, don’t expect to see any rosy hues

It was the first time Sunday since 1982 that a total lunar eclipse was combined with a supermoon.
A super moon rises over the Lower Fox Creek School near Strong City, Kan., Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.
Travis Heying, The Wichita Eagle via AP

A rare pink supermoon will make an appearance later this month, marking a little over one year since the last pink supermoon treated onlookers to its luminescent glory, People reports.

What’s a pink supermoon?

A supermoon takes place when a full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbit, Space.com reports. The site adds that supermoons make the natural satellite appear brighter and larger in the night sky, though the difference is often difficult to spot with the naked eye.

Although the upcoming cosmic event is called the “pink moon,” our cosmic neighbor won’t actually take on a rosy hue, Yahoo! Life reports. According to the site, the name instead comes from the fact that the event aligns with the seasonal blooming of moss pink, a wildflower native to eastern North America.

Space.com reports that each full moon has a special title depending on the month it happens. For example, last month’s full moon was dubbed the “worm moon,” and the full moon in May will be called the “flower moon.” More information about full moon names and meanings can be found in the Farmer’s Almanac.

When is the pink moon happening?

The super pink moon will appear on the night of Monday, April 26, and be visible through Tuesday, April 27. The exact moment of perigee — the point when it is closest to Earth — will be at 11:31 p.m. EDT.

According to The Weather Channel, the moon will appear larger on that night because perigee will bring the satellite 3,57,378 km from our planet.

How to watch the pink moon

The Old Farmer’s Almanac states that people who want to get a good view of the upcoming cosmic event should “find an open area and watch as the moon rises just above the horizon, at which point it will appear its biggest and take on a golden hue!” (via People).

More supermoons to come

Mental Floss reports that this month’s supermoon is the first of a series of three consecutive supermoons this year. The next ones will light up the night skies on May 26 and June 24.