One of two super moons in 2021 is expected to appear at the end of the month, but is the moon actually pink??
We have not one, but two full moons that are set to grace the skies in 2021. One of them is going to show itself in the not so distant future, and is called a "pink" moon. Is it actually pink like the title says? Not quite.
First, let's break down what a super moon is. A super moon happens when the moon that orbits the earth is at its closest point to our planet, however the definition of a super moon is not as clear cut as one might think. For example, Fred Espanak, a retired astrophysicist who worked for NASA says there will be four super moons this year, whereas The Farmer Almanac lists two for 2021.
The moon's path around the Earth is not circular as one might think, rather it is influenced by gravitational and tidal forces that are acting on it. The Sun and other planets also have an effect on the path the moon takes around the earth, meaning that there are many gravitational forces pushing and pulling on it. This is what ultimately gives us the ability to see a super moon, as gravitation forces are pulling the moon closer to earth.
Now, don't think you'll look up into the sky and see a pink moon. That's not how it works.
The Pink Moon got its name because it occurred with the early springtime bloom of the wildflower phlox subulata, known as "moss pink."
Each full moon has a special name depending on the month it happens. For example, the full moon in May will be called the "flower moon."
The super pink moon will appear on Monday, April 26th at 11:31PM. Make sure to find an open area where you can watch it from the horizon as it rises!
The next super moon will happen in May 26th. The special event will be made even more so, as it will be the closest super moon of the year and will coincide with a total lunar eclipse, giving the moon a reddish look around 7AM that morning.
Until next time,
-Chief Meteorologist Bradon Long