Not, I’m sorry to tell you, because the moon actually turns pink, but because before people recorded time using calendars, they instead looked up into the heavens and gave each full moon a nickname that usually corresponded to what was going on in their own lives down here on earth. In this case, it was the Early Native Americans that called this particular moon ‘Pink’ because of pink windflowers called Phlox subulata, or creeping Phlox, that I suppose ‘snuck up on them’ in spring and then sprung up covering the ground in a beautiful pink carpet. But in places that didn’t have such an in your face flower display for inspiration, April’s moon was also called (among other things) the Egg Moon (because it was the egg laying season) and also Fish Moon (because it’s at this time that fish would swim upstream).
But this year April’s full moon is not just going to be pink, it will also be Super. Again, sorry to tell you this doesn’t mean it’s going to wear a cape, but it does however mean (since the full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbit) that it will be larger and brighter than normal. But we’re not talking MASSIVE like in that scene in Bruce Almighty where Jim Carrey (bestowed with Gods powers) lassos the moon and pulls it in close to set a more romantic one with Jenifer Anniston. Supermoons are, on average, only 7% bigger and 15% brighter than normal moons and so you might not even notice the difference. Which is just as well, if I remember correctly, Bruce’s romantic gesture later wreaks havoc on the tides and the careful harmonious balance we’ve got going on with the moon. Best leave it to God I think was the conclusion of the movie. And that reminds me of another thing to marvel at - the WILD coincidence that the moon and the sun appear to be the exact same size in the sky (meaning they can eclipse each other) even though the sun is 400 times bigger. This is due to the fact that it also happens to be 400 times further away. All the other planets in our Solar System with their many moons (and so in a sense more rolls of the cosmic dice) don’t share this happy happenstance.
The Super Pink Moon will be on Tuesday, 27 April and it’s set to rise at 9 o’clock in the evening here in Portugal (a good time to see it actually looking larger on the horizon due to ‘The Moon Illusion’ - a phenomenon known since ancient times and yet, although subject to many theories, is still debated as to why) and reaches its peak at 4.30 in the morning.