Pink Moon doesn’t really look pink

The “pink moon” doesn’t actually look pink. It is the nickname of the full moon that occurs every April and is named after a pink spring flower.

April’s full moon, known as the “pink moon,” will do the trick Ascension on Wednesday April 5threaching its peak early Thursday morning.

Sandra texted the VERIFY team asking, “What is the pink moon and when is it?” When the pink moon came in both 2020 and 2021, viral social media posts went viral shared photos that made the moon look like literally pink.


Does the pink moon look pink?



That's wrong.

No, the pink moon doesn’t look pink. It gets its name from a flower that blooms in April called a phlox.


Each April, the month’s full moon is known as the pink moon, NASA says.

“The most important thing to know is that the moon doesn’t turn pink,” said Jackie Faherty, a scientist and educator in the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Astrophysics.

NASA says the nickname for each month’s full moon, including April’s pink moon, was popularized by farmers’ almanacs. The two best-known peasant almanacs – the Peasant Almanac and the Old peasant almanac – Let’s say the nickname was inspired by a pink spring flower called phlox or moss phlox.

“While we wish this name had something to do with the color of the moon, the reality is not quite so mystical or awe-inspiring,” states the Old Farmer’s Almanac. “In truth, April’s full moon often corresponded with the early spring blooms of a particular wildflower native to eastern North America: Phlox subulata — commonly referred to as creeping phlox or moss phlox — which was also known by the name ‘moss pink.'”

Despite its name, the pink moon will not look pink to stargazers. The only reason the moon would ever appear a different color, Faherty said, is because of the way light passes through particles in Earth’s atmosphere.

“That’s one of the reasons I would also encourage people to look at the moon when it’s near the horizon — when it’s rising or when it’s setting — because at that point, you’re going to be looking at it through most of the Earth.” atmosphere that will contain all sorts of things,” said Faherty. “And so, unfortunately, the things that make it look its prettiest are things that aren’t great for humans.”

Faherty cited volcanic eruptions and wildfires as examples, both of which eject ash and other small particles into the air that can make the moon appear red or orange near the horizon. She said that the air would normally have to be particularly smoggy for the moon to appear a different color than normal high in the sky.

The only exception to this rule, added Noah Petro, a lunar geologist at NASA, is during a lunar eclipse. Then the full moon steps into the shadow of the earth.

“The moon changes color because light from the sun passes through the earth’s atmosphere. And that light that’s going through Earth’s atmosphere is the same brilliant color that we see at sunsets — that red, orange light — and that’s bouncing back to us,” Petro said.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that two full moons can occur twice in the same month every two and a half years. This is possible because the moon goes through its phases every 29.5 days and can happen in any month including April. The second full moon of the month is always a blue moon, no matter what month it occurs in, says the Old Farmers’ Almanac.

Both almanacs state that the tradition of giving each month’s moon a nickname began in North America Native American lunar calendar and was then adopted by early colonial American settlers. No almanac has confirmed where the pink moon nickname came from.

Other cultures call the April full moon by other names, such as Bak Poya in Sri Lanka, the frog moon of the Cree tribe, and the moon of sugar making Ojibwe tribe. When the full moon in April is the first full moon of the spring season, it becomes the Easter moon in the Christian church calendar.

More from VERIFY: No, cold or rainy weather cannot make you sick

The TO VERIFY Team works to separate fact from fiction so you can understand what is true and what is false. Please consider subscribing to our Daily Newsletter, text notifications and our YouTube channel. You can continue to follow us Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook And tick tock. Learn more “

Follow us

Want something VERIFIED?

Text: 202-410-8808 Pink Moon doesn’t really look pink

Related Articles

Back to top button