Sky gazers will have a treat waiting for them as the annual Pink Moon graces the night sky. Also known as Sprouting Grass Moon, Flower Moon, Egg Moon, Milk Moon, Fish Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Pesach Moon, Paschal Moon, Hanuman Jayanti, and Bak Poya, the Pink Moon doesn't really mean that the Moon will change its colour to pink today. The full moon of April gets its “Pink Moon” nickname from Native Americans who named it after “moss pink,” or wild ground phlox—one of the early spring flowers in US. This is the fourth full moon of 2019.
As we mentioned earlier, the full name of April is called Pink Moon and a number of other names around the world. The name was given by the Native Americans, who used to name the full moons so they could keep track of their harvesting schedule. Other full moon names given by Native Americans are Wolf Moon (January), Snow Moon (February), Worm Moon (March), Flower Moon (May), Strawberry Moon (June), Buck Moon (July), Sturgeon Moon (August), Harvest Moon (September), Hunter's Moon (October), Beaver Moon (November), and Cold Moon (December).
The Pink Moon doesn't have anything to do with the actual colour of Moon, which may appear red or orange depending on dust, smoke, or ash in atmosphere.
Pink Moon will be visible around the world, depending on the weather, on Friday, April 19, night. It will officially become the full moon at 07:12am EDT (thus, the Pink Moon India time is 04:42pm IST) and will continue to appear full for about three days, writes NASA on its blog. Considering the extended visibility of the full moon, everyone should be able to watch Pink Moon this Good Friday in their time zone.
Space.com notes that as the Moon will be three days past its perigee, the point in its orbit where Moon is nearest to Earth, it will almost be a “supermoon” and will appear larger than average. Technically supermoon occur when a full moon coincides with perigee, which is why this year's Pink Moon is not being called a Pink Super Moon.
To watch the Pink Moon, you don't need any special equipment, just a clear sky without much light pollution. However, if you are planning to use binoculars or a small telescope, you will need special moon filter to avoid the glare, else you may not be able to see much.
The full moon of the next month will occur on May 18, 2019 and is called Blue Moon or a Flower Moon. According to NASA, Moon will become a full moon at 05:11pm EDT (02:41am IST, May 19). It will be the third full moon of the season.