Pink moon: April’s full moon glows brightly over Rome
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April’s Full Moon is sometimes known as the Fish Moon or the Sprouting Grass Moon as it arrives in the balmy spring season. It is best known, however, as the Full Pink Moon – a name that is said to originate in Native American traditions. Express.co.uk explains everything you need to know about the Pink Moon, including its unusual name and date of arrival.
When is the April Pink Moon this year?
Full Moons arrive once a month, although on different dates each year.
This happens because the Moon’s lunar cycle, from one New Moon to the next, lasts 29.53 days.
Last year’s Pink Moon, for example, arrived on the evening of Tuesday, April 7.
This time around, the Pink Moon is expected to peak in the wee morning hours of Tuesday, April 27.
Viewed from the UK, the Full Moon will reach peak illumination at about 4.31am BST.
The peak will occur when the Moon’s Earth-facing side is exactly 180-degrees from the Sun.
Strictly in astronomical terms, a Full Moon only lasts for a brief moment.
But the Moon will appear full to the naked eye for three nights centred on the peak.
Astronomers at the Royal Observatory Greenwich explained: “A Full Moon occurs when the Moon appears as a complete circle in the sky.
“We see it as a full orb because the whole of the side of the Moon facing the Earth is lit up by the Sun’s rays.”
Pink moon: April’s full moon illuminates the sky
What is the meaning behind the Full Moon’s name?
Eager astronomy enthusiasts might be disappointed to learn the Moon will not be turning pink this month.
Unlike a reddened Blood Moon, which appears during a total lunar eclipse, the name is purely symbolic.
The Pink Moon’s unusual name is attributed to the time-keeping traditions of Native American tribes.
These names were later adopted by colonial Europeans and popularised to a varying extent over the centuries.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the lunar names are said to reflect seasonal changes in the landscape or wildlife.
The Cold Moon in December, for example, signifies the start of winter and looming cold months ahead.
The Pink Moon, by this convention, is believed to be named after a type of pink flower that blossoms around this time of the year.
Amy Nieskens of The Old Farmer’s Almanac said: “April’s Full Moon is known as the Full Pink Moon because it heralded the appearance of wild ground phlox or moss pink, one of the first spring flowers.
“It is also known by many other names to herald the coming of spring, including the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.”
When are the Full Moons this year?
Here all of the Full Moons this year as well as their names:
Wolf Moon – January 28
Snow Moon – February 27
Worm Moon – March 28
Pink Moon – April 27
Flower Moon – May 26
Strawberry Moon – June 24
Buck Moon – July 31
Sturgeon Moon – August 30
Harvest Moon – September 29
Hunter’s Moon – October 28
Beaver Moon – November 27
Cold Moon – December 27
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