A rare full moon is set to appear in the night sky Monday, April 26 that will be one of the brightest and biggest this year.
Named the ‘Pink Moon,’ this supermoon will be 30 percent more dazzling and 14 percent larger than the average full moon – but do not expect the lunar surface to be glowing pink.
The name derives from the early springtime blooms of certain flowers native to eastern North America that are commonly known as creeping phlox – but has been referred to ‘moss pink.’
This full moon—which is the first of two supermoons this year—will be visible after sunset and reach peak illumination at 11:32pm ET.
A rare full moon is set to appear in the night sky Monday, April 26 that will be one of the brightest and biggest this year. Pictured is the Pink Moon captured in 2019 behind Mow Cop Castle on the Cheshire/Staffordshire border.
A second supermoon is set for May 26, making the pair the closest to appear this year.
On Monday, the moon will appear full for nearly three days around the same time, 11:32pm ET, starting Sunday through Wednesday morning.
But it will glow in its full brilliance Monday evening.
In New York City, moonrise is scheduled for 7:24pm ET and Earth’s natural satellite will set about 11 hours later.
On Monday, the moon will appear full for nearly three days around the same time, 11:32pm ET, starting Sunday through Wednesday morning. But it will glow in its full brilliance Monday evening. People play volleyball on the beach as the Pink Moon rises in the sky over the Salmiya district in 2019
However, if you miss the Pink Moon, the Flower Moon will rise May 26 and be 98 miles closer to Earth.
Space is also putting on a show this evening with the peak of the stunning Lyrid meteor shower that is set to see up to 18 shooting stars streaking across the sky every hour from about midnight.
While the shooting stars can be seen anywhere on Earth, the Northern Hemisphere will have the best views, especially rural areas away from city lights.
While the shower lacks persistent trails, it can produce fireballs, which are exceptionally bright meteors that can be seen over a very broad area.
The best place to see the shower is the Northern Hemisphere, though they can be seen to a lesser extent from the Southern Hemisphere.
Rural locations, far from the light pollution of industrial areas, will have the best view.
Unfortunately, the shower coincides with a bright waning gibbous moon, a phase that comes very close to being a full moon.
Space is also putting on a show this evening with the peak of the stunning Lyrid meteor shower that is set to see up to 18 shooting stars streaking across the sky every hour from about midnight. Pictured is Forest Hill illuminated under the shooting stars on a clear night on April 21, 2020 in London
The added moonlight means less of the shower will be visible, though even without a telescope there will be plenty to see.
To locate where the meteors will be passing through, locate the brightest star in the constellation Lyra to find what astronomers call the ‘radiant.’
The Lyrid meteor shower received its name because of the trails that follow stars, which seem to radiate from the constellation Lyra (the Lyre).
The debris actually comes from the orbit of the comet Thatcher.
Although Thatcher is quite far from Earth, orbiting the Sun only once every 415 years, it sprinkles cosmic detritus far and wide along its path.
As they burn up the meteors streak through the sky at speeds of about 110,000 miles per hour.
Though the Lyrids aren’t the brightest shower —the Perseuds and Geminids both outshine them — they are one of the first observed by humans.
They were first spotted by Chinese astronomers in 687 BC.
While meteor showers can be seen from Earth, the meteoroids that cause them are actually no bigger than pebbles.
WHAT IS A FULL PINK MOON AND WHERE DOES IT GET ITS NAME?
The phenomenon, known as the ‘Pink Moon’, earns its name from the flowering of the brightly-coloured herb ‘moss pink,’ which typically coincides with its arrival.
It’s also known as the Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Growing Moon or Full Fish Moon.
The name comes from the Herb moss pink phlox, or ‘wild ground’ phlox, which blooms in early spring in the US and Canada.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the April full moon lines up with the blooming of one of spring’s earliest-flowering plants – wild ground phlox, or ‘moss pink’.
The phenomenon, known as the ‘Pink Moon’, earns its name from the flowering of the brightly-coloured herb ‘moss pink’
The pink moon, which is also known as the grass moon and the egg moon, was given its moniker by Native Americans, who provided a name for each full moon to help them keep track of time.
Native Americans have a name for the full moon of every month in the calendar, including Wolf Moon for January, Snow Moon for February and Worm Moon for March – then Flower Moon in May. Strawberry Moon is for June, Buck Moon is for July and Sturgeon Moon is for August.
In September, there is a Harvest Moon, Hunter’s Moon is in October, Beaver Moon is in November and Cold Moon is in December.