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With a new month comes a new opportunity to experience the full moon that you may have seen too casually four weeks ago. This month, the upcoming heavenly wonder will brighten the skies and presumably roam Instagram feeds as the pink super moon reappears on April 26th, about a year and six weeks after the last time it gave us cause to take to the skies look.

Here’s a look at how and when to see this month’s full moon, including some historical details about where the name comes from.

When will it appear?

You will have plenty of time to prepare for the pink super moon to come out in full glory as it is primed on April 26 at 11:33 p.m. ET. This is only the time of the highest luminescence. So don’t worry if you hang around in an open field after bed to catch it at its peak if you don’t want to, as the moon shines brightly – and pretty largely – all night.

Even if you stay up late, wistful Nick Drake listen The moon doesn’t actually appear pink in the sky. Most full moons got their name from Indian tribes, who usually differentiated moons based on the season of the year and the relationship of the weather to the harvest crops (see those of the previous month) “Worm moon” for further reading).

The Peasant almanac explains that the pink moon is not the actual color, but rather a reflection of the vivid spring joys that we may experience on the ground:

While we wish this name had something to do with the color of the moon, the reality isn’t quite as mystical or impressive. In truth, the April full moon often corresponded to the early spring blooms of a specific wildflower from eastern North America: Phlox subulata– commonly referred to as creeping phlox or moss phlox – which was also called “moss pink”.

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It is, however, a real super moon

While last month’s worm moon barely missed the mark for a true supermoon award, the pink moon will be big enough to claim the name.

As explained last month, the concept of a “supermoon” is a kind of pop science term that overlays the already pseudoscientific field of astrology. The idea of ​​a super moon was developed in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle and technically applies to “either a new moon or a full moon that occurs when the moon is within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to earth”.

Unlike last month, the moon will meet these criteria on April 26th and therefore the Super Moon moniker will remain. Since this moon is 90% as close as possible to the earth, it appears far more radiant than a normal moon otherwise.

Here’s how the Farmer’s Almanac breaks it down:

How big and how bright exactly? On average, supermoons are about 7% larger and about 15% brighter than a typical full moon. However, unless you regularly see a full moon and a supermoon side by side in the sky, the difference is very, very difficult to tell!

However, this does not mark the end of the Super Moon calendar of 2021, as the next full moon on May 26th will be even brighter than this month’s, but only by a minor, imperceptible amount. How NASA explains:

The full moons in April and May are almost the next full moons of the year. The full moon on May 26, 2021 will be a little closer to Earth than the full moon on April 26, 2021, but only by a slim 0.04%!

As always, the best advice for the upcoming lunar events is to find a nice open space with no light pollution and look up at the sky. Bringing a blanket probably wouldn’t hurt either.