Full Pink Moon seen across the skies of North America

Apr 25, 2016 16:15 IST

Pink MoonThe Full Pink Moon was seen on 22 April 2016 in the skies of North America. However, the moon appeared normally white and smaller than usual. The April’s full moon is usually referred as Pink Moon in North America.

The moon appeared to be smaller than usual because it was at its furthest point from the Earth, or apogee. This full moon comes less than one day after reaching lunar apogee, the moon’s farthest point in its monthly orbit. It lies around 50 thousand km farther from Earth than 2016’s closest full moon.

The Pink Moon is also called as mini-moon and micro-moon. The terms mini-moon and micro-moon originate from popular culture. The NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day calls the year’s smallest full moon as a micro-moon. In many respects, the micro-moon is the antithesis of a Supermoon.

In November 2016, the moon will be full when it is at its closest to the Earth and will be known as a Supermoon.

What is Pink Moon?

The pink moon is the name for April’s full moon, which earns its nickname from a pink flower called wild ground flox (also known as herb moss pink), which is one of the earliest plants to flower in spring.

It was created by the Algonquin tribes native to the New England and Lake Superior regions.

Some coastal American Indian tribes have also referred to it as the Full Fish moon, since it marks a time when shad swim upstream to spawn.

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. It was their way of keeping a calendar as they did not follow the Julian or Gregorian system of tracking time. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each full moon occurred.

When colonial Americans came into contact with these tribes, they would frequently adopt the full moon names that were already in use.

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