So, I was noticing on my calendar the other day — I still have a calendar hanging on the wall of my office. Despite the calendars on my computer, desk phone, smartphone, watch and day planner, I still rely very heavily on that piece of paper nailed to the wall. Its big, easy to see, usually has an interesting picture associated with each month, and my particular choice is full of interesting astronomy trivia and observing hints.
Anyway, I was noticing that the Full Moon for April, 2010 occurs on the 28th and is known as the ‘Pink Moon.’ I thought to myself, “Pink Moon? Where’d that name come from?”
I know that all Full Moons have names, and these names are most commonly associated with the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which takes the full moon names from the cultural histories of native american tribes of the northeastern parts of the United States. The Cold Moon in December, the Snow Moon in February, the Harvest Moon in September/October all kind of make sense as to their name and origin. But the Pink Moon in April I had to look up. I doubt it had anything to do with the pastels of Easter or little girls’ new spring dresses to wear for Sunday church, because I’m sure native american tribes didn’t know much about either one at the time.
The Pink Moon refers to “the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring (citation).” Other full moons have different names, which kind of make sense if you think about them long enough…
The Full Moon names are:
The moon won’t look any pinker this week, certainly, wild flowers or not. Sometimes the moon looks red, however. But that’s only during a total lunar eclipse, which can only happen during Full Moon, and will happen later this year, on the night of December 2oth/21st.