A Pink Moon

Richard

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:
January–Wolf Moon
February–Snow Moon
March–Worm Moon
April–Pink Moon
May–Flower Moon
June–Strawberry Moon
July–Buck Moon
August–Sturgeon Moon
September–Corn Moon
October–Harvest Moon
November–Beaver Moon
December–Cold Moon

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.

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4 thoughts on “A Pink Moon

  1. Thank you for that post Richard! I happened to observe the Moon last night during the dust storm here in Utah Valley, and it was an unusually amazing sight!

  2. There is an amazing album called “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake. It gets along very well with all kinds of moons…

  3. i like the worm moon,,, its 14 time larger then it usually is and i think thats neat!

  4. The ‘worm moon’ is traditionally the March full moon; and, actually, it’s no larger than any other full moon. If you are thinking about the March, 2011 full moon being exceptionally big, then you should read our current blog posting about this truly rare event. In short, there is always one full moon that is closer to the Earth than all the rest for the year. In 2011 it just happens to be in March. For 2010, it was in January.

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