April’s Pink Super Moon
How Beautiful Are These Night Sky Photos?
Last night, 7 April 2020, was the night of the “Pink Super Moon”.
What’s a Pink Super Moon you ask? Well there are two components – the “pink moon” and the “super moon”.
A “pink moon” is the name given to the April full moon – even though it isn’t pink in color. This historic name comes from the fact that the April moon coincided with the Spring blooming of the ground phlox, a pink flower common in North America. When the pink moon appeared people knew that it was time to start planting their crops for the year.
The second component of the phrase is “Super Moon”. This term refers to the position of the Moon with respect to the Earth – specifically perigee; when the Moon makes its closest approach to the Earth. At perigee, because of its proximity to the Earth, the moon appears bigger and brighter in the night sky. In terms of astronomical measurement the diameter of a Super Moon can appear 7% larger than an average-size full moon and 14% larger than the diameter of a mini-moon - the year’s most distant and smallest full moon. With respect to their brightness, Super Moons can be up to 15% brighter than an average-size full moon and 30% brighter than a mini-moon. To have a Super Moon the moon's perigee must coincide with the phase of the moon being “Full”. On average, a Super Moon only occurs 3 or 4 times each year.
Last night’s Pink Super Moon is the closest that the Moon will get to the Earth all year - 221,851 miles (357,035 km). In an interesting calendar event, the three Super Moons of 2020 all fall in consecutive months: on 9 March, 8 April and 7 May.
Here are a few of the photos that we took last night of the beautiful sights that we saw as the moon transited through the sky and local clouds rolled by. Note that the photos were taken using a variety of camera settings, and in a variety of light conditions throughout the night, so there’s some intentional color variation across the photos. (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
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