It might not sound as cool or dramatic as January’s Super Blood Wolf Moon, but the Pink Moon is still worth marking your calendar for. This Friday, April 19 — at 4:12 PM (PST) to be exact — this year’s Full Pink Moon will reach peak fullness. The name is deceptive, however. It’s not actually pink, it’s just the nickname Native Americans gave to April’s full moon, back when seasons were measured by the lunar calendar. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish moon.
The name “Pink Moon” derives from the pink ground phlox, or “moss pink,” an early spring flower. Instead of actually glowing pink, it instead appears yellow, orange, or red, depending on the atmospheric conditions. A phenomenon called the “moon illusion” causes the moon to appear larger during this time as well.
The Pink Moon will rise on Thursday night but won’t become 100 percent visible until Friday morning. To get the best view of the moon, watch from a hill or skyscraper, and as with any form of stargazing, seek an area with low light pollution. Look west at moonset (6:58 PM PST) early morning on Friday or east at moonrise (8:21 PM PST) later in the day.