Tonight’s Super Pink Moon linked to ‘end of days’ omen, a ‘rebirth’ and increased seismic activity
A RARE "Pink Moon" will rise over the UK tonight as our rocky neighbour makes a close pass over Earth.
Some ancient peoples thought the cosmic event was linked to the appearance of beautiful flowers, while others claim it signifies the end of the world as we know it.
What is a Pink Moon?
A Pink Moon is the rare result of several space phenomena occurring at once.
The name is slightly deceiving because rather than pink, the Moon will actually appear a slightly pale orange.
When is the 2020 Pink Moon?
Stargazers should be able to spot the 2020 version in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday April 8.
People in the UK, Europe and North America should be able to see it on a clear night.
Why is it called a Pink Moon?
The phrase "Pink Moon" comes from Northern Native Americans, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.
They named it after a spring flower called Wild Ground Phlox, which is native to the eastern USA and one of the earliest widespread flowers of Spring.
It's got a pink hue and blossoms around the same time as April's full moon.
This natural phenomenon is always linked to the date of Easter because it appears after the spring equinox.
In other parts of the world, the celestial phenomenon is referred to as the Egg Moon, Full Sprouting Grass Moon, Growing Moon or the Full Fish Moon.
Ancient beliefs about the Pink Moon
Among Native Americans, the Pink Moon signifies rebirth and renewal, according to Elite Daily.
It flags that brighter times are ahead following the cold, dark months of winter.
The Pink Moon is a sign that life goes through cycles – bright flowers may die but they always come back again each year.
According to spiritualist Cherokee Billie, the Pink Moon "brings the stability and security to crystallise recent changes and make them permanent improvements."
Other cultures view the Pink Moon a little differently.
In the Hebrew lunisolar calendar the months change with the new Moon and full Moons fall in the middle of the lunar months.
This full Moon is in the middle of Nisan.
According to one Rabbi, the Moon becoming as large as the Sun is an "injustice" to God.
"This injustice will be rectified in the end of days,” Rabbi Berger said, according to BreakingIsraelNews.
"In the end of days, the sun and the moon will be equally ‘great’."
The full Moon – of which the Pink Moon is one form of – means different things to different religions.
According to Nasa: "There are a number of variations of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, but for many this full Moon corresponds with the Hanuman Jayanti festival celebrating the birth of Lord Sri Hanuman.
"Every full Moon is a holiday in Sri Lanka," it continues.
"For Buddhists in Sri Lanka, this full Moon is Bak Poya, commemorating when the Buddha visited Sri Lanka and avoided a war by settling a dispute between chiefs."
Pink Moon effects on Earth
Some scientists believe the Pink Moon can cause small increases in tectonic activity.
That's because of the effects of the gravitational pull of Earth's rocky satellite.
A Super Moon may also bring the largest tides of the year.
That's because a closer Moon exerts a stronger gravitational pull and creates more variation between the tides.
However, the effects of the Supermoon on Earth are minor.
Many studies have concluded that there is nothing significant that can link the Super Moon to natural disasters.
What causes a Pink Moon?
A Pink Moon occurs when Earth's rocky neighbour makes a close approach to our planet.
Because the Moon's orbit is off-centre, its distance to the Earth is greater at one end than the other.
A Super Moon refers to either a new or full Moon that occurs within 90 per cent of "perigee", its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.
Not every Super Moon is a Pink Moon.
“When the moon is near the horizon, it can look unnaturally large when viewed through trees, buildings, or other foreground objects," say NASA.
"The effect is an optical illusion, but that fact doesn’t take away from the experience."
What is a Super Moon?
- Super Moons are a rare and stunning lunar event that only takes place a handful of times a year.
- The sky is filled by a bright and giant Moon, which is a real treat for stargazers.
- A Super Moon is a combination of two different astronomical effects.
- It's when a new or full Moon coincides with a perigee – the Moon's closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
- A Moon has to come within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth to be formally defined as a Super Moon.
- That means the Moon needs to come within 224,865 miles of Earth and be a full Moon to boot.
When a large full moon is seen low in the sky it is being viewed through a greater thickness of the Earth's atmosphere.
Earth's oxygen and nitrogen-rich atmosphere filter out the bluer wavelengths of moonlight when the Moon is close to the horizon as it rises.
This filtering process, known as light refraction, results in more of the red component of moonlight travelling directly into your eye.
Therefore the Moon will appear red or orange to you.
The Moon can only really appear to have turned pink during a total lunar eclipses.
This is often referred to as a a Blood Moon.
When are all of the Full Moons this year?
Wolf Moon – January 10
Snow Moon – February 9
Worm Moon – March 9
Pink Moon – April 8
Flower Moon – May 7
Strawberry Moon – June 6
Buck Moon – July 5
Sturgeon Moon – August 3
Full Corn Moon – September 2
Hunter's Moon – October 1
Beaver Moon – November 30
Cold Moon – December 30
In other space news, Nasa has revealed some of its plans for colonising the Moon.
If you've ever wanted to see a shooting star you stand a good chance this month.
And, the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed new data about what may be the most powerful cosmic storm in the universe.
Would you like to live on the Moon one day? Let us know in the comments…
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