First supermoon of 2021: An April ‘Pink’ moon

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – On Monday, April 26, the very first super moon of the season emerged in the night sky.

This moon is referred to as the “pink” moon since it’s a full moon occurring within the month of April, and commemorates the start of spring, when many pink, spring flowers start to bloom.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s named after the wildflower native to eastern North America known as the Phlox subulata, or “moss pink.”

No, the moon won’t actually appear pink visually, but may take on a yellow or orange(ish) hue upon its first emergence above the horizon before taking on its signature white glow.

This usually occurs because of pollutants or other dust particles in the air at the time the moon rises, but it isn’t the color of the moon itself. This moon in particular will be the biggest and brightest moon in appearance, hence why it’s called a “supermoon.”

How does this happen?

The name “supermoon” is given to both full and new moons that happen when the moon is the closest in its orbit to earth. This point is known as “perigee,” and occurs several times throughout the year.

We don’t get to see every single supermoon since some of them are new moons where we only see the dark side, as the moon is positioned between the earth and the sun.

Image courtesy: earthsky.org

This is why a supermoon appears to be bigger and brighter based off its distance to the earth, but the moon isn’t actually growing and shrinking.

The moon itself is supposed to appear 7-15% bigger and up to 30% brighter than an ordinary full moon, although the difference is sometimes difficult to tell.

Did you know? The pink moon can also be referred to as the Sprouting Gabs Moon, the Fish Moon and the Egg Moon?

How can we see it?

The pink supermoon will rise in Western New York skies around 7:43 PM and peak at around 11:31 PM.

Find a dark area with enough viewing space to spot the moon at its closest to the horizon, since this is when the moon will appear the brightest.

Odds are it may not be a perfectly clear sky with an approaching warm front to the northwest of our region, but with enough clear spots you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse under partly cloudy skies.

There are only two supermoons that occur every year. The next one will be on May 26th and nicknamed the “flower moon.” This next moon event will be slightly more special as parts of eastern North America will be able to see a partial lunar eclipse with this moon!

For all the latest forecast updates for Monday’s weather and beyond, click HERE.

Be sure to catch a glimpse of this beaming, bright moon if you can!

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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