The Pink Moon is coming! That’s the name of the next Supermoon of 2020. Is it actually pink? And when can we see it?
Those are the questions my kids asked me when I told them about the next full moon. Here are the answers along with some fun educational activities about the night sky.
What is a supermoon?
A supermoon is bigger than the usual moon. In fact, it can be up to 14% bigger than normal, and that’s a big difference!
It’s larger in size, because the moon will be orbing closer to the earth: 356,907 kilometers away rather than the usual 384,400 km. In 2020, astronomers say there will be only four supermoons, so it’s quite a special event… and definitely worth staying up for. (The next and last supermoon of 2020 is in May).
When and Where Can We See the Pink Moon?
The pink moon will make it’s appearance at sunset on April 7, 2020 in North America. In fact, the best time to see a super moon is when the moon first appears on the eastern horizon. But it will be it’s absolute brightest in the middle of the night, 2:35 am Universal Time on April 8, 2020. If your kids are early risers, like mine, they’ll also be able to get a good look at it as the moon sets on April 8.
Is the Pink Moon really pink?
Unfortunately, nope! It’s named “pink moon” after wild phlox, a flower that blooms in early Spring in North America. No surprise here: phlox are a pretty shade of pink. In other parts of the world, this April full moon goes by the name of Fish Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, or Egg Moon. All these names are actually more of a reflection of the culture or place where you can see the full moon, rather than a description of the moon’s appearance.
(If your kids are disappointed the moon won’t actually be pink, have them read about a pink planet in this Pinkalicious book).
Even if the moon won’t be pink, it’s a great way of teaching your kiddos about the moon, it’s orbit, and why it changes in size and brightness over the month.
To foster an interest in the night sky, we have an array of resources and printables to teach your kiddos more about the moon. To better understand the super moon in particular, focus on activities about the different moon phases:
For additional moon-related activities and craft — including how to teach them about moon craters — click here.