Full Pink Moon 2024: What to expect and why it’s called pink

After its stunning performance during the total solar eclipse earlier this month, the moon is gearing up for another notable appearance in the sky in the next few days. This time around, we’ll be treated to the full “pink” moon rising in the evening sky on Tuesday.

But don’t expect the moon to actually look pink to us — unless there’s some unexpected stuff in the air, like smoke from wildfires. Instead, it’ll have its usual golden color near the horizon and then transition to a bright white as it moves across the sky, as the Old Farmer’s Almanac explains.

Why is it called the pink moon?

Well, it’s not because it’s going to look pink. The name comes from the fact that April’s full moon aligns with the blooming of one of spring’s earliest widespread flowers. Specifically, it’s named after a plant called moss pink, also known as creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox. This plant is native to the eastern United States and is one of the first flowers to pop up in spring.

As for when to catch April’s full moon, mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 23, at 7:49 p.m. EDT. Keep in mind that the moon will look full to us for about three days, from Monday morning to Thursday morning, according to NASA.

The tradition of naming full moons after natural events goes way back, with Native Americans and other cultures giving each full moon its own special name. In the 1930s, the Maine Farmers’ Almanac started publishing Native American names for full moons, and these names have stuck around.

Other names for April’s full moon include the sprouting grass moon, the egg moon, and — for coastal tribes in North America — the fish moon, marking the time when shad swim upstream to spawn.

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