What is a Pink Moon and Where Did It Get Its Name

Is the Pink Moon actually pink? Our nearest cosmic neighbour, the Moon, has lit the night sky for billions of years. Civilizations throughout history have studied it. It is oddly familiar to us, even though it orbits a mere 238,000 miles away from our home planet.

Over time, we have developed different names for the different types of moons we see throughout the calendar year. Most notably, we are all familiar with the Supermoon or the Blue Moon, but have you ever heard of the Pink Moon?

Society and the Moon

Unfortunately, The Pink Moon isn’t actually pink, just as the Blue Moon is not actually blue. It is April’s Full Moon and gets its name from folklore. 

The name references the pinkish flowers we see in the early spring in the eastern United States. Many people in the academic community often wonder why society called it Pink Moon. However, it is certainly nice to see space science in the news, instead of other, often more dreary, phenomena.

Viewing The Moon From Your Backyard

Even though the Moon will not actually be pink, April is still an ideal time to get out and do lunar observations using a telescope. Without the heat and humidity of the summer months, there will be minimal atmospheric interference. This means your observations won’t wiggle around in the viewfinder.

Watching the pink moonSource: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

Of course, this goes without saying that you need a steady mount. You will be able to see lunar hills and valleys in its natural grey colour.

Why Do Scientists Care About Studying The Moon?

The Moon is of great interest to scientists because it is a time capsule of what the Earth used to be during its formation. Many believed that the Earth was impacted by something rather large. As a result, it spewed some of its contents into space, which eventually formed the Moon that we know and love today. Without an atmosphere to erode its surface, the Moon is seemingly frozen in time. It tells us many things about the chemical composition of the early Earth.

The Moon is our cosmic sibling and is right there with us as we travel around the Sun and throughout the cosmos. Even though the lunar surface may look dull —not pink—and boring to some, it says a lot about the history of the Earth and by extension, ourselves. This April, be sure to get a good glimpse of the Moon in all its glory. Keep looking up!


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