April's pink moon will not actually be pink. It would rather be a mini-moon.
Skywatchers are prepared for a mesmerizing celestial phenomenon as pink moon is set to rise tonight (Friday 22).
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Pink moon is the name for April’s full moon which is inspired by grass pink or wild ground phlox – a pin flower that blooms early in the spring.
To the surprise of many, tonight’s moon will not be colored pink as its name suggests but it will definitely appear smaller than a usual full moon, in fact, it will be the smallest moon of the year because it will be at the farthest point from Earth in its elliptical orbit.
“As the Earth and Moon move to their furthest points from each other, well all get a unique chance to see the full moon as it appears smallest to us here on Earth…a ‘mini’ moon and a Pink Full Moon at that.” Representatives from Slooh robotic telescope service said in a statement.
Mini-moon does not rise on the same date every year. It will change with each passing year. However, it almost takes one month and 18 days for a mini-moon to return. According to Earthsky, the next year’s mini-moon will appear on June 9 while the smallest moon of 2018 will be witnessed on July 27 and the cycle continues the same way in the subsequent years as well.
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As the moon gets closer and closer to the Earth, it starts to look bigger and bigger if we are seeing it from the Earth’s surface. The November’s full moon will be the bigger and brightest moon of the year as it will be just 221, 524 miles away from the Earth.