A PINK Moon will appear in the sky this Friday, in time for the bank holiday celebrations.
The term ‘Pink Moon’ refers to the full moon that occurs in April and is named after the pink spring flower that appears at the same time.
The name is and is slightly deceiving because the moon won’t actually look pink but a slightly pale orange.
Stargazers in the UK should be able to spot the orange Pink Moon at around 8:05pm BST for one night.
People in the rest of Europe and North America will also be able to see it.
The moon should slowly turn yellow as it gets higher in the sky.
A ‘Blue Moon’ rose over London last year[/caption]
The phrase ‘Pink Moon’ actually came about due to a spring flower called Wild Ground Phlox, which is very pink and appears in the US at the same time as April’s full moon.
This natural phenomenon is always linked to the date of Easter because it appears after the spring equinox.
You may think the term Pink Moon is confusing but the very same celestial phenomenon can also be referred to as the Egg Moon, Full Sprouting Grass Moon, Growing Moon or the Full Fish Moon.
The Pink Moon will look orange as it rises because when a large full moon is seen low in the sky it is being viewed through a greater thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The different types of moons
Here are some of the most interesting moon phases and when to see them…
A Blue Moon refers to the occasion when a full moon appears for the second time in the same month, this is very rare and the next Blue Moon should occur on Halloween in 2020.
The Harvest Moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.
A Supermoon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth and therefore at its brightest, the next one will appear in September.
A Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse, the next one should happen in May 2020.
Each month of the year actually has its own special full moon phenomenon, they are as follows:
- January: Wolf Moon
- February: Snow Moon
- March: Worm Moon
- April: Pink Moon
- May: Flower Moon
- June: Strawberry Moon
- July: Buck Moon
- August: Sturgeon Moon
- September: Full Corn Moon
- October: Hunter’s Moon
- November: Beaver Moon
- December: Cold Moon.
Earth’s oxygen and nitrogen-rich atmosphere filters out the bluer wavelengths of white moonlight when the moon is close to the horizon as it rises.
This filtering process, known as light refraction, results in more of the red component of moonlight travelling directly into your eye.
Therefore the moon will appear red or orange to you.
The moon can only really appear to have turned pink during a total lunar eclipses, which is often referred to as a a Blood Moon.
The next half Blood Moon is set to take place in July this year and should be visible from some parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
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Are you going to try and see the Pink Moon? Let us know in the comments…
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