2020's April pink moon: calming respite from COVID-19 pandemic
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Pink moon setting on April 7, 2020 (Video: Lunar 101 Moon-Book)
When is this year’s pink moon?
This year’s pink moon will become visible just after 7 p.m., but Tuesday, and continue for about 12 hours, according to NASA.
You’re also recommended to look to the skies just after sunset Tuesday — calling the moonrise and moonset “the most under-appreciated astronomical phenomena” in which anyone can take part.
According to LiveScience, April pink moon is a supermoon. It has also been known as the "sprouting grass moon" or "egg moon," heralding other first signs of spring.
|The Pink Supermoon rises over the Shard skyscraper in London in an astronomical event that occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, making it appear much larger and brighter than usual, in London, Britain, April 7, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)|
|A supermoon rises in the sky at the city of Vina del Mar, Chile April 7, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)|
What is pink moon or Apirl full moon?
The full moon is about 0.1% closer to Earth than the March full moon was, making it the most super of the supermoons for 2020, NASA reported. Moreover, this pink supermoon will appear 7% larger than an average full moon.
The moon itself won't look pink, but it may appear more golden as it rises above the horizon and covered by an opaque pink cloud or haze. That's due to an effect caused by our atmosphere, similar to how the sun can appear more red as it rises and sets.
So, why does it get a pink moniker? It's named for the pink wildflower Phlox subulata, which blossoms in eastern North America in the early springtime, Space.com reported. If you're unfamiliar with its scientific name, perhaps you'll recognize it by the common names of wild ground phlox, the creeping phlox, moss phlox and the herb moss pink.
|The Supermoon rises behind the Empire State Building while it glows red in solidarity with those infected with coronavirus as the outbreak of the disease (COVID-19) continues in the Manhattan borough of New York City, as it is seen from Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S., April 7, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)|
|The pink supermoon rises between the two towers of Notre Dame Cathedral, which was damaged in a devastating fire almost one year ago, ahead of Easter celebrations to be held under lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Paris, France, April 7, 2020 (Photo: Reuters)|
Pink moon, a comfort during COVID-19 hard time
“Catching the moon as it passes your local landscape can be dramatic and simply gorgeous,” and “perfectly safe” to watch with unblinking eyes, she says. “I encourage everyone to get themselves set up about an hour before sunset with loved ones — and maybe a glass of their current favorite beverage — and watch the super moon rise above your horizon,” in the opposite direction of the sun (that’s East), American Museum of Natural History astronomer Jackie Faherty tolds New York Post.
The supermoon comes during a trying time around the globe, as more than 1.3 million people are known to have been infected with the new coronavirus and over 78,000 killed. But the astronomical event may provide comfort to some.
"When all feels troubled on the planet, looking up invokes a sense of wonder and promise. A simple event such as a full moon that reminds people to look to the sky can be just the escape that most people need right now," Jackie Faherty, a senior scientist at the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Astrophysics told USA Today in a statement.
How to view the moon while also social distancing
Viewing the pink supermoon doesn't require leaving your house.
If you have an east, south or west-facing window, you should be able to see the moon from inside, Noah Petro, a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Scientist at NASA said.
"You don’t need a fancy telescope or other equipment, just clear skies and clear eyes," he added.
Faherty suggested looking for the moon at moonrise or moonset. To view, set up looking east, or the opposite direction of the sun, about an hour before sunset.
"I think a moonrise and a moonset are the most under-appreciated astronomical phenomena that can be easily viewed. Catching the moon as it passes your local landscape can be dramatic and simply gorgeous (and it’s perfectly safe to view)," she said.
|The pink supermoon rises over the city of Rome in an astronomical event that occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, making it appear much larger and brighter than usual, in Rome, Italy, April 7, 2020 (Photo: Reuters)|
|The pink supermoon rises over the city of Rome in an astronomical event that occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, making it appear much larger and brighter than usual, in Rome, Italy, April 7, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)|
When is the next super moon?
Normally, there are 12 full moons in a year because one occurs each month. But in 2020, October will have two full moons, one on October 1 and then again on October 31.
Two full moons in the same month is known as a "blue moon." And the fact that the second one falls on Halloween truly makes this event "once in a blue moon."
This year will have up to four supermoons total, when the moon appears even larger and brighter in our sky. The next supermoon will occur on May 7, CNN reported.
And keep an eye on the sky in mid-April for a grouping of Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and the moon in beautiful, bright alignment. This won't happen again for a couple of years, according to NASA.
Below are some photos of previous full moon taken by photographers around the world.
A supermoon rises behind the Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE)
A full moon, announcing the end of the winter season, rises in Skopje, North Macedonia on March 20, 2019. (Photo: Getty Imiages)
A view of the supermoon that announces the start of the spring over the Santiago de Compostela cathedral, Galicia, Spain on March 20, 2019.
A supermoon sets as seen from Whitley Bay, England, as the sun begins to rise, early on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo: AP)
Office buildings in the financial district in the city center lit by the full moon and the sunrise on March 21, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photo: USA Today)
A supermoon rises behind U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters at a defense post in the desert near the last land still held by Islamic State militants outside Baghouz, Syria, on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo: AP)
A lookout tower, left, and the broadcast tower of Antenna Hungaria at the top of Karancs mountain are backdropped by the rising moon as seen from the vicinity of Karancskeszi village, northeast of Budapest, Hungary on March 20, 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE)
A woman runs on a small road between fields and acres just before the moon sets in Frankfurt, Germany, March 21, 2019. (Photo: AP)
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