A pink moon, the first full moon of spring, made its initial appearance during the early morning hours today. The moon is huge, extraordinarily bright, and hangs low in the sky, but it is not exactly a perfect shade of pink as its name indicates.
The April pink moon is also routinely referred to as the Easter Moon, Egg Moon, and Sprouting Grass Moon, MSN notes. The unusual pink moon was named after the colorful wild ground phlox flowers that grow around America and bloom during the early days of spring each year.
Naming full moons in order to differentiate between them is a tradition started by Native American tribes. The tribes used the changing of the moons to note both the beginning and the end of each season, the Old Farmer’s Almanac reports.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 11, 2017
The 2017 April pink moon is being touted as one of the most spectacular changes from the winter season into spring in recent history, EarthSky.org notes. Today the appearance of the pink moon will be paired up with the planet Jupiter. The planet will remain in the front of the constellation Virgo until late fall.
The moon will leave Virgo for several days while Jupiter remains near the Virgo constellation’s brightest star, Spica, for many months to come. Now, just a few days after Jupiter reaches the opposition point of its rotation, the planet is at its most visible and brightest point. Jupiter was the closest it ever gets to Earth on April 8.
The pink moon hit its fullness peak when it rotated around the opposite side of Earth at 2 a.m. this morning. The moon will remain in such a state until about 11 a.m. today. Stargazers using a telescope around the world can enjoy peeking at the first full moon of spring through April 12. Folks without a telescope can still catch a glimpse of the moon by watching the Slooh’s astronomy live stream.
The appearance of the pink moon marks the beginnings of festivals and celebrations in many cultures around the world. The Hindus launch the massive Hanuman Jayanti festival during the pink moon. Followers of the Jewish faith celebrate Passover while Christians celebrate the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ during Easter.
The full moon that will appear next month is called the Flower Moon, and the Strawberry Moon will hang in the sky in June. July plays host to the Buck Moon, and the Sturgeon Moon arrives in August. In the southern hemisphere, where it is now fall, the pink moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon.
— ✨Red Retro Antiques✨ (@RedRetro13) April 11, 2017
The pink moon is not the only exciting astrological event that will occur in April. Predicted cosmic events that could also happen this month include a close call with a giant asteroid and a meteor shower. The Lyrids meteor shower is expected to hit its peak on or close to April 22, the Daily Mail reports. Approximately 20 shooting stars could occur within a single hour during the Lyrids meteor shower.
Object 2014 JO25 is the massive asteroid that is about a mile wide. The asteroid is expected to follow a course that will give earthlings an extremely close flyby later in April. NASA is deeming the predicted cosmic event to be the closest encounter with such an enormous asteroid the Earth has experienced in the past 10 years. Such a close call with a giant asteroid is not expected to take place again for at least another 400 years. NASA researchers also believe the safe flyby will be “among the strongest asteroid radar targets of the year.”
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