Pink Supermoon April 2021: how and when to see the Full Pink Moon - dates, times
The first of two Supermoons this year, known as the Pink Supermoon, will be visible at its fullest on Monday 26 April 2021.
When will we see the Pink Supermoon?
The Pink Supermoon, the first of two Supermoons scheduled to take place in 2021, will be visible at its fullest from today, Monday 26 April 2021, at 11:32 pm EDT.
What is a Supermoon?
Coined by the astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, the term ‘Supermoon’ is used to refer to a new or full Moon that comes to within 90% of perigree, the satellite’s closest position relative to the Earth.
The Moon’s distance from the Earth varies because its orbit around our planet is not circular - instead, it is elliptical, or oval-shaped, causing it to move closer and further away as it travels around us.
A new Moon - the phase of the Moon’s cycle where it sits between the Sun and the Earth, leaving its dark side facing us - is invisible to terrestrial observers, so the only Supermoon that we have a chance to look at is a full Supermoon.
A full Moon occurs when the Earth is positioned between the Sun and the Moon, meaning that the side of the Moon that we see is fully illuminated by our solar system’s star.
Moon significantly larger and brighter than normal
When a Supermoon occurs, the Moon can look up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than a regular full Moon, according to the Farmers' Almanac.
Why is this Supermoon ‘pink’?
The name has nothing to do with how the Moon will appear to sky-gazers; instead, it refers to the color of the early springtime flower herb moss pink.
It is one of 12 Native American names, which the Farmers' Almanac began publishing in the early 20th century, used to describe the Moon in each month of the year. Not only colors are used: names for the satellite in other months include Wolf Moon, Worm Moon and Hunter’s Moon.
According to NASA, the Pink Moon also has a whole host of alternative names, such as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.
The Moon will appear full for three days, until the morning of Wednesday 28 April.
When will the next Supermoon be?
The next Supermoon, known as the Flower Supermoon, will appear at its fullest on Wednesday 26 May 7:14 am EDT.