Have you ever heard of the pink moon? The coming weekend will witness the pink moon reaching its peak fullness at 4:12 am PST on Friday (for the US citizens). However, the pink moon isn’t actually pink. The nickname ‘pink moon’ was given to the April full moon by native Americans because it happened during the same time when the pink spring flower was blooming!
Although it won’t be pink, the pink moon is still a sight to witness. The best times to observe the pink moon are when it is rising and setting. We suggest you find a moon watching the spot for yourself from where you can observe it without too many distractions.
The moon appears the closest at the horizon and also features minimal glare thus making it easier for you to observe it. It will begin with a bold orange color that will fade into a milky white color as the moon rises. The moon’s color and all the other colors that we witness are because of the Rayleigh scattering.
What is Rayleigh scattering? The earth’s atmosphere is rich in nitrogen and oxygen. These molecules are able to absorb certain wavelengths of light much better as opposed to other wavelengths. Basically, sunlight hits these molecules and then based on the length of the wavelength appear differently to us. For instance, the light with short wavelengths such as blue and purple is much more easily absorbed, and thus the sky appears to be blue. Whereas, colors with longer wavelengths are able to pass through molecules of nitrogen and oxygen.
Longer wavelength colors feature red, orange, and yellow. This explains why we are able to enjoy bright colors when the moon or sun is closer to the horizon – the atmosphere is thickest at the horizon. We suggest you check your local moon set and rise times to make the most of this opportunity of witnessing pink moon.
The pink moon also enjoys cultural significance apart from being an important event in a lot of belief systems. So, are you all set to enjoy the pink moon?