The 'Pink Full Moon' rises this Friday

Katie Ramirez
April 18, 2019

This coming weekends "pink moon" will reach peak fullness at 4:12 a.m. PST on Friday (for U.S based readers!).

According to the the Old Farmer's Almanac, May's full moon "marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom". "Not 20 minutes after it has first been sighted on the horizon, the full moon will be high in the sky, a definite white, and too bright to look at", Jamie Carter wrote.

However, it has been reported that the moon will not turn pink tonight as in previous years - but may take on a slightly reddish hue. The moon's color and in fact all the colors we see up in the sky are thanks to Rayleigh scattering. Alternative names for this moon are "sprouting grass moon", "egg moon", and "fish moon".

Because of this, Easter was pushed back until the Pink Moon's arrival and falls on Sunday, April 21.

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The earth's atmosphere is rich in oxygen and nitrogen, these molecules absorb some wavelengths of light more than others. For best viewing check your local moon rise and set times.

Tribes such as the Algonquian traditionally kept track of time by naming the Moon's phases after particular events.

During this cycle, the Earth-facing side of the Moon is lit up to varying degrees depending on its position in relation to the Sun. The full moon occurs roughly every month.

So there we have it: No pink moon, but the sky is big enough for more than just one show. So wait a few days for the moon to be a little less glamorous, and you may get lucky enough to see little pieces of Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher that have been observed for more than 2,600 years.

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