Get ready folks. We will be able to see the April pink full moon – it is also the first supermoon of 2021 – on Tuesday, April 26, 2021. Spoiler warning: It will not be pink, but it will be quite bright.
People up in the northern hemisphere will see it first, but we down here in Africa will also enjoy the beauty. Don’t forget to set the alarm.
Super Pink Moon, April 8: What you need to know
What is a supermoon?
First, what is a supermoon? In essence, it is a full moon that occurs at the same time as the moon’s orbit brings it to the closest possible point on Earth. It is also known as the “Perigee full moon” or the “Perigee synzig.
Perigee means “near the Earth.” According to NASA, the April pink month will look 30% brighter and 14% bigger than your standard full moon.
This year we will also see two supermoons; another that appeared in May. The April pink moon will be about 357,378 kilometers from the Earth. Although it doesn’t sound close at all, in astronomical terms it is quite close.
The moon will be closest to the Earth, it is predicted at 356,447 km, which will happen on December 6, 2052.
Why the name ‘pink moon?’
Every full moon has its name every month – “wolf moon” in January, “snow moon” in February, “worm moon” in March, “pink moon” in April “and so on. The full moon of April is no different.
This month’s celestial event is known as the “pink moon” because it coincides with early spring in the northern hemisphere when the flower of phlox moss (or pink moss) is in full bloom.
According to Old Farmer’s Almanac, which was founded in 1792, other names for the full moon in April of the full moon include the Month of Germinating Grass, the Month of Eggs, the Month of Fish, the Easter Month, Hanuman Jaianti or Bak Poia.
In this image below, Buddhist worshipers pray during the Poya, a religious festival to mark the full moon at the Kelaniia Temple in the suburb of Kelaniia in Colombo on April 26, 2021.
What time is the supermoon on Tuesday, April 26th
According to Space.com, the exact peak time is 23:32 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Monday, which would be 5:32 South African Standard Time (SAST) on Tuesday for us in the Southern Hemisphere.
Yes, it’s pretty early. If you are not a night owl, it would be best to set that alarm. Next, the super pink moon will be visible to the naked eye; you will not need any special equipment. Just go ahead and look up.
The moon will already be technically full on Monday, however, casual observers of the sky will still be able to enjoy its splendor from Sunday, April 25, to Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
Watch: April Pink Supermoon live stream
The visibility of the full moon will depend on the weather conditions. For those living in cities, light pollution can also play a role. Worried you might not be able to see the full moon? Do not worry!
The virtual telescope project, brought to us by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, will have a telescope trained at full moon as it appears over Ceccano in Italy. You can watch the live broadcast below.
Since Italy is a few hours ahead of us, the stream will go live at 19:15 on Monday, April 26, 2021. However, even if you miss watching the live stream, you will still be able to watch the stream at any point, so enjoy!
When is the next full moon?
You will only have to wait another month. The next full moon will appear on May 26, 2021. It is known as the Flower Moon, named as such because there are flowers everywhere at that time.
Other names for May Flower Month include Full Corn Planting Month or Milk Month.
And would you know, NASA has confirmed that the full moon of May will be even closer to the earth, looking slightly bigger than the pink supermoon.
“These two full moons are practically connected, with the full moon on May 26, 2021, slightly closer to the Earth, but only about 150 kilometers or about 0.04% of the distance from the Earth to the moon in perigee.
NASA’s Gordon Johnston