Mark your calendars because there’s a rare pink super moon gracing our skies on Tuesday night, and it’ll be the brightest full moon we’ve seen all year.
Despite being relatively rare, we’re actually getting three super moons this year in what I am personally calling supermoonapalooza. The first super moon will take to the skies on April 27, with two more to follow on May 26 and June 24.
You can find the best viewing times for Tuesday’s pink super moon here, but what exactly is a super moon and how does a pink one differentiate from a regular one?
What Is A Super Moon?
A super moon can either be a full or new moon that occurs during perigee, which is when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
As a result of its close proximity to Earth, a super moon is bigger and brighter than an average full moon. However, it’s worth noting that a normal full moon is already pretty bright, so you could easily miss it if you don’t spend every night staring at the moon.
The term – which was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 – refers to any full or new moon that comes within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth.
To be more specific, this means any full or new moon that comes within 361,766km of Earth is a super moon, which… uhh, doesn’t feel very super.
In fact, some experts, like Neil deGrasse Tyson, have called BS on the whole concept of a super moon.
FYI: The very concept of a Super Moon is an embarrassment to everything else we call super: Supernova, Supercollider, Superman, Super Mario Bros.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 3, 2017
What’s So Special About The Pink Super Moon?
Other than sounding like a cool name for an alternative band, a pink super moon isn’t actually as exciting as you’d think.
For starters, it’s not actually pink, which is probably the biggest disappointment.
The pink moon – also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon or the Fish Moon – is named after the pink Phlox Subulata wildflower that blooms in North America during the springtime. This is around the same time as the April super moon.
However, what it lacks in pink hues, it makes up for in brightness and size. And although this month’s pink super moon will be at its fullest at 1:31pm (before sunset), we’ll be able to enjoy brighter-than-average moons for approximately three nights.
Stay in the know with Spacemodo, our monthly wrap-up of the best star-gazing events.