COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Tuesday night’s full moon appeared larger and brighter than all 13 full moons in 2020. The Pink Moon is the second of three consecutive supermoons.
The Pink Moon rose in the east shortly after sundown, and was technically full at 10:35 p.m. EDT., reaching its highest point in the sky around midnight. The moon was not actually pink, but provided more illumination than most full moons.
The Pink Moon April 7-8 is named for a blossoming pink spring wildflower (creeping flox) found in eastern North America. The name was derived from the Native American custom of naming full moons. Ancient cultures around the world kept track of seasons by the occurrence of the full moon.
The full moon on March 9 was a supermoon (Worm Moon), and the Flower Moon on May 7 will be the third in the series this year.
A full or new moon is informally classified as a “supermoon” (the term was coined in 1979 by Richard Nolle) during the moon’s closest approach to Earth (90 percent nearer than average, or within 225,000 miles of Earth) about the time of perigee (precise closest point). The average distance between the moon and Earth is 238,000 miles, which varies through the course of a lunar cycle due to the moon’s ellipitcal orbit.
A supermoon appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a full moon at its farthest point from Earth (apogee). The “moon illusion” makes the contrast more distinct when the moon is near the horizon by the way we perceive other objects relative to the rising moon.