Science

Pink Moon 2019: The April Full Moon rises tomorrow – Make sure you DON’T miss it


The so-called Pink Moon is the annual Full Moon phase of the month of April. Tomorrow (Friday, April 19) the Full Moon will peak in brightness shortly about eight hours before it rises above the horizon. In the UK, the Pink Moon will peak around 12.12pm BST (11.12am UTC) but will not be visible until after 8.05pm BST (7.05pm). However, once the Pink Moon starts to slowly rise over the east-southeast horizon, it will be the biggest and brightest of the month.

As the Moon orbits the Earth and the Sun, it goes through a cycle of phases known as the Lunar Cycle.

Every night we get to see the same side of the Moon facing the Earth but the amount of sunlight falling on it vary each day.

Tomorrow is the culmination of the cycle, the Full Moon, when the lunar orb’s Earth-facing side is fully illuminated by the Sun.

US space agency NASA explained: “We always see the same side of the Moon, because as the Moon revolves around the Earth, the Moon rotates so that the same side is always facing the Earth.

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“But the Moon looks a little different every night. Sometimes the entire face glows brightly. Sometimes we can only see a thin crescent.

“Other times the Moon seems to disappear entirely. As the bright parts of the Moon appear to change shape during the month, each stage of the change is called a phase and each phase carries its own name.”

Because of the Moon’s tilt and the shape of its orbit, we see the Moon from a slightly different angle over the course of the month.

But what about the Pink Moon nickname? Is the unusual monicker linked to the lunar cycle?

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The Pink Moon’s name originates in Native American time-keeping traditions, which were later adopted by colonial Europeans.

Many tribes, particularly in the eastern half of the US, would name the Full Moons in response to the changing seasons and shifting landscape around them.

The Pink Moon, for instance, was dunned after a little pink flower known as ground phlox or creeper phlox.

Ground phlox springs around this time of year, painting the fields a breathtaking pink colour around the Appalachian mountain regions, modern-day Pennsylvania and Northern Georgia.

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According to Amy Nieskens from the Old Farmer’s Almanac guidebook, the Pink Moon is not the only name the April Full Moon goes by.

She said: “April’s Full Moon is known as the Full Pink Moon because it heralded the appearance of wild group phlox or moss pink, one of the first Spring flowers.

“It is also known by many other names to herald the start of Spring, including the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.

“This month, in many areas of the country gardening season is in full swing.”





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