After three supermoons in a row to ring in 2019, including a “Super Worm Moon,” what’s unique about April’s full moon is that it reaches 100% illumination this coming Good Friday. Stargazers around the world will be treated to a stunning astronomical display of a full Pink Moon on Good Friday.
Despite its name, the Pink Moon won’t actually be that color but instead derives the name because it coincides with the blooming of a pink wildflower.
The name comes from the Herb moss pink phlox, or ‘wild ground’ phlox, which blooms in early spring in the US and Canada.
The timing of the full moon’s appearance depends on where the moon is in its orbit around the Earth; this is why the actual time of the full moon can be in daylight for certain locations.
American commuters making their way to work would be able to catch the event as it reaches its peak at 7:12 am EST.
For the best chance of seeing it, try to head to an area with little light pollution, so the moon will look particularly bright in the night sky.
In China, it will occur in the evening time starting from approximately 4 pm, calculated from China Standard Time.
France, Italy, and Spain will be able to catch it at around 13.00 (WET) and it will reach its peak in eastern Europe at around 14.00 (EET).
The pink moon has also been called the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the full Fish Moon.
According to an Old Wive’s Tale, many believe that labour can be induced by the lunar cycle and the start of a full moon.
The full moon is believed to be closest to the Duchess of Sussex’s expected due date, said to be mid- April to early May.
The suggestion is that a full moon’s gravitational pull affects the amniotic fluid in the same way it affects the water in the sea and rivers, as well as influencing the levels of the hormone melatonin.
Maternity wards are said to be busier during a full moon, although in the medical world there are many who are sceptical about whether the moon encourages labour.
5 Things You Should Know About The FULL Moon
When to observe the Pink Moon
A full moon occurs when our satellite is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun and therefore fully illuminated as seen from Earth. That happens at the same time worldwide regardless of Earth’s rotation, and in April that moment occurs at 4:12 a.m. PDT and 7:12 a.m. EDT.
Since the full moon occurs close to dawn, those after the fullest possible Pink Moon should plan to look west at moonset in the early morning of Friday (when the sun will be rising in the east almost simultaneously), though the sight will be almost identical at moonrise (around sunset in the west) later that day. In Los Angeles, moonset is at 6:44 a.m. PDT and moonrise is at 7:59 p.m. while in New York moonset is at 6:38 a.m. EDT and moonrise is at 8:01 p.m. EDT. Be sure to check for exact moonrise and moonset times for where you live.
If cloud or work schedules preclude moon-viewing at those times, know that the Pink Moon is going to look almost as full a day before and after the actual moment of the full moon. So although Good Friday is by far the best time to watch the Pink Moon, it’s might be wise to grab a peek on Thursday or Saturday, if you’ll miss it on Friday.
How to observe the Pink Moon
If skies are clear close to dawn and dusk on Friday, April 19, get up somewhere reasonably high with a good, clear view down to the western horizon (at dawn) or eastern horizon (at dusk). A skyscraper or a hill is good, but even a third floor of a building can be just as effective. You don’t need any special equipment, but any pair of binoculars will get you an incredible close-up.