We could all use a distraction or two right now, and what better way to take your mind off what’s happening on this planet than by gazing at another celestial body? This Wednesday 8 April you’ll be able to see a ‘super pink Moon’ in the night sky.
It won’t actually be pink, but it will appear to be the biggest and brightest of all the full Moons of 2020 – those points every 29-and-a-half days when Earth is right between the Moon and the Sun, meaning we get to see the Moon completely lit up.
This time around, we’re getting what people often call a ‘supermoon’ as well as a full Moon, because the Moon will be in perigee: the closest possible point to us in its elliptic orbit, a mere 357,035 kilometres or 221,851 miles away from Earth.
A supermoon can appear 7 percent bigger than an average full Moon, and 15 percent brighter, too. That’s pretty exciting for astronomers, even if the difference may not always seem dramatic from Earth – we can’t easily compare full Moons side by side.
And, as we well know, supermoons tend to attract quite a bit of poetry. This time around, the event is also being referred to as ‘pink’ thanks to the beautiful Phlox subulata flowers that bloom in spring in the US and Canada (also known as moss pink).
Even if it’s not going to loom pink, we think looking up at the night skies to admire the bright ball may give us all a few minutes of respite from worrying about these trying times that we’re all going through.