A “Pink Moon” is the name given to the April full moon by the Native Americans because of the flowers which begin blooming this time of year, not because it takes on a pinkish color.
The moon will look large in the sky when it is rising, but that is actually an optical illusion. While the moon is near objects near the horizon, it gives us a sense of perspective while we see it near buildings, trees and other objects. While it gets higher in the sky, it will look smaller. For instance, the picture below captured by Rhode Island space blogger, Jason Major, shows what looks like a very large moon rising behind the Conimicut Lighthouse.
The moon will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit this month — 221,772 miles to be exact. That relatively short distance can change the appearance of the moon.
Tonight’s super moon will appear 14% larger in the sky according to NASA.
NASA also said the Pink Moon will be 30% brighter than the most distant full moon. The term “Super Moon” was actually coined by an astrologer for astrological readings.
There’s not a lot of scientific value in studying a super moon, because they happen all the time. However, they can affect the tides here on Earth. Expect more extreme high and low tides with the moon this close.
We won’t need a telescope, or even binoculars, to see the Super Pink Moon. All you have to do is go outside and look to the east — while practicing good social-distancing of course.
The moon rises at 6:54PM Tuesday and sets at 6:54AM Wednesday.