April’s Super ‘Pink’ Moon Will Be the Brightest Full Moon of 2020
by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com
Avid stargazers and newcomers to the nighttime hobby can look forward to a lunar event next month: A super “pink” moon will rise into the night sky on April 7th, the brightest supermoon of 2020.
A supermoon occurs when a full moon happens on the same night the moon reaches perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its orbit. (Apogee is its furthest point from Earth in its orbit.) In April, the full moon peaks at 10:35 EDT. Though the moon is called a “pink” moon, its color won’t be any different than normal. It will be golden orange when low in the sky, and brighten to white as it rises. The name comes from pink wildflowers called creeping phlox that bloom in early spring, under April’s full moon, per Catherine Boeckmann at the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Supermoons are only about seven percent bigger and 15 percent brighter than the average full moon, so the difference may not be obvious. The slight change in size happens because the moon follows an eccentric orbit around Earth that isn’t perfectly circular. On March 24, for example, Earth’s lunar companion reached its furthest apogee of the year, about 252,707 miles away. ….read more: