Mark Your Calendars: The Pink Moon of April 2023 – When and Where to See It

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The Full Moon is an awe-inspiring sight that has captured the imagination of humans for centuries. Every month, we are treated to a different spectacle in the night sky, with each Full Moon holding its unique significance and name. 

April’s Full Moon, also known as the Pink Moon, is set to appear on the evening of April 5th, 2023, and it promises to be a breathtaking sight for all who can witness it.

When Can You See the Pink Moon in 2023? 

The Pink Moon can be seen rising on the evening of April 5th, 2023, in the UK and worldwide. From London, the Pink Moon will rise at 6:59 pm from the east and set at 6:40 am the following day in the west.

It will reach peak illumination at 4:34 am UT/5:34 BST on April 6th. This means that the Moon will be low on the horizon, in the pre-dawn sky, when it reaches syzygy, a roughly straight-line configuration of the Moon, Earth, and Sun. The best time to see the Pink Moon will be early in the morning of April 6th before the Moon sinks below the horizon and before the Sun rises or the previous evening on April 5th.

For those in the United States, the Pink Moon will be visible nationwide, but the exact timing of the moonrise and moonset will depend on your location. You can check the moonrise and moonset times for your specific location using a moon phase calendar or an astronomy app that provides this information.

Why is it Called the Pink Moon? 

The name Pink Moon is thought to derive from the pink flowers that start to bloom around this time, particularly Phlox subulata. Phlox is a herbaceous plant native to eastern North America and is thought to have inspired the name Pink Moon when the Maine Farmer’s Almanac began publishing names for each Full Moon in the year. Since then, these names have gained popularity and are now commonly used worldwide.

However, the Pink Moon will not appear pink despite its name. If we are afforded a good view and the clouds hold, the Moon might appear with a yellow or orange hue when it’s still low on the horizon. This effect is not specific to the Pink Moon and occurs when the Moon is lacking in the sky. The light travels long distances, so the shorter wavelengths are scattered while the longer, redder wavelengths remain. The Moon takes on a more yellow-orange colour nearer the horizon.

Other Names for the Pink Moon 

This year, the April Full Moon can also be called the Paschal Full Moon, but that’s only sometimes the case, as it can sometimes be attributed to the March Full Moon. The Paschal Full Moon is the first Full Moon after the spring equinox. Traditionally, Easter is the first Sunday after the Full Moon following the spring equinox. Other names for the Pink Moon include the Sprouting Green Moon, Fish Moon, or Hare Moon.

What Constellation Will the Pink Moon Be In? 

On the morning of April 6th, 2023, the Moon will be in Virgo’s constellation midway between its brightest star, Spica and Porrima, a binary star. The Moon spends around two to three days in each zodiac constellation as it progresses through its lunar cycle.

Why Do We Get a Full Moon? 

A Full Moon is a lunar phase where the Moon appears fully illuminated from our point of view. It’s one part of the lunar cycle, the continuous series of apparent changes the Moon undergoes as it orbits the Earth. The phases of

  • April’s Full Moon, also known as the Pink Moon, will be visible on the evening of 5 April 2023 in the UK and around the world.
  • The Pink Moon is named after pink flowers that start to bloom around this time, in particular, Phlox subulata.
  • The best time to see the Pink Moon will be early in the morning of 6 April before the Moon sinks below the horizon, and before the Sun rises.
  • The Pink Moon will be in the constellation Virgo on the morning of 6 April.
  • The full Moon passes through a lunar cycle which includes New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent.
  • The lunar cycle is around 29.53 days long, which is why the term ‘lunar month’ is often used to describe the time period between successive full moons.
  • A full Moon occurs when the Moon is fully illuminated by the Sun, which happens when the Earth is positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon.
  • The Pink Moon in 2023 is not a supermoon, as it falls slightly short of the 360,000km distance from Earth.
  • The Paschal Full Moon is the first full Moon after the spring equinox and is traditionally used to determine the date of Easter.
  • The Moon illusion, which makes the Moon appear larger near the horizon, may be caused by the way our brains process visual information or by the magnifying effect of the Earth’s atmosphere.