On April 6, 2023, skywatchers will have a chance to witness the Pink Moon at its closest proximity to the bright star Spica. The full moon of April is named after the pink phlox wildflowers, native to North America, which typically bloom in April. However, the moon won’t actually appear pink in color. Instead, it is given its name from the color of the flowers that bloom during this time of year.
Aside from its colorful name, the full moon of April is known by several other names, including the Breaking Ice Moon, Budding Moon, Awakening Moon, or Egg Moon. In Anishinaabeg, or Ojibwe, Indigenous culture, it is called Popogami Giizis or Broken Snowshoe Moon.
The Pink Moon also holds religious significance. For instance, in Judaism, the full moon of April is referred to as the Pesach or Passover Moon, as it coincides with the Passover holiday. In Western Christianity, the date of Easter is based on the Paschal Moon, which falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon of spring. As such, the Pink Moon serves as the basis for calculating the date of Easter. Eastern Orthodox Easter is observed on the Sunday following Western Christianity Easter, which falls on April 16, 2023.
The full moon of April is also associated with other cultural and religious celebrations. For example, the Hindu lunisolar calendar celebrates Hanuman Jayanti on this day, while Sri Lankan Buddhists observe Bak Poya.
On April 6, 2023, the full moon will rise in the east just after dusk, making it the best time to view it. Skywatchers are advised to find a spot with a low view of the eastern horizon and check the moonrise and moonset times for their location.
After the Pink Moon, the next full moon, known as the Flower Moon, will occur on May 5, 2023. During this event, a penumbral lunar eclipse will occur when the moon enters Earth’s outer shadow in orbit.
Throughout history, people have been fascinated by the moon and its movements across the sky. In fact, since ancient times, humans have named each full moon after various events, weather conditions, or seasonal occurrences. While the Pink Moon’s name has been popularized in modern times by the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, different cultures around the world have had different names for the full moon for centuries.
In summary, the Pink Moon will be at its closest proximity to the bright star Spica on April 6, 2023. Its name is derived from the pink phlox wildflowers that bloom during this time of year. It holds religious and cultural significance for various communities around the world and has been named differently throughout history. Skywatchers can observe the Pink Moon rising just after dusk on April 6, 2023, and the Flower Moon will occur on May 5, 2023.