Pink Moon in the Netherlands: Catch a glimpse!
This Friday, Good Friday, coincides with a lunar event, namely a Pink Moon. This lunar instance takes its name from phlox, pink flowers that bloom in spring, and, at the risk of bursting your bubble, is not actually pink.
So, what colour is the Moon then?
Let’s get things straight. The Moon won’t actually be pink, unfortunately. It may, however, appear yellow, orange or even red, depending on atmospheric conditions when it first peeks above the horizon.
The Pink Moon can attribute its name to the naming conventions of the Native Americans and early Colonials from Europe. Back then, it was common to track the changing seasons according to the lunar month. These month names are now often used as names for the Full Moon. The Pink Moon can also be called the Sprouting Grass Moon, Fish Moon, Hare Moon, Egg Moon or Paschal Moon.
The Moon will be completely full at 1.12pm on April 19, but as it will be under the horizon at this time, you won’t be able to see it. You’ll have to wait until Moonrise at 8.46pm to catch a glimpse of it as it peeks above the horizon to the East.
Bonus: Lyrid Meteor Shower
If you are stargazing, you are in for another treat, as you just might see some meteors too! Although the Lyrids will peak on April 22-23, they will already be active on Friday. Just look towards the Northeast of the sky and see if you spot one.
During the peak on April 22-23, you’ll be able to see around 18 meteors per hour, weather permitting of course. If you do manage to spot one of the shooting stars, you’ll be witnessing one of the oldest meteor showers ever recorded. According to historical Chinese texts, this shower was also seen over 2.500 years ago!
Back to the Moon. There are many names for the Full Moon. Here are the traditional ones:
January: Wolf Moon
February: Snow Moon
March: Worm Moon
April: Pink Moon
May: Flower Moon
June: Strawberry Moon
July: Buck Moon
August: Sturgeon Moon
September: Corn Moon / Harvest Moon
October: Hunter’s Moon / Harvest Moon
November: Beaver Moon
December: Cold Moon
The next Full Moon will occur on May 18, and as it is the third Full Moon in an astronomical season with four Full Moons, opposed to the usual three, it will be a Blue Moon.