The April 'Pink Moon' and Several Planets Will Be Visible in the Night Sky Tonight

Sunday, 29 April 2018 - 4:51PM
Space
Moon
Solar System
Sunday, 29 April 2018 - 4:51PM
The April 'Pink Moon' and Several Planets Will Be Visible in the Night Sky Tonight
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The night sky always seems to be especially busy during the month of April. But if you missed the annual Lyrid meteor shower, there's another reason to stargaze tonight.

Tonight will mark this year's "Pink Moon", a name given to the first full moon in April for a couple interesting reasons. Alongside this, several planets will also be visible tonight as well, sharing the night sky with the April full moon, including Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter. 

Of course, like blue moons and black moons, the Pink Moon is not literally pink - the Moon is a chunk of rock and incapable of celebrating Easter or dressing itself in spring colors. The April full moon has often been referred to as the Pink Moon not only because it typically coincides with spring, but specifically the blooming of phlox flowers in North America. 



The full moon will rise at 7:31 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, about twenty minutes before sunset. The full moon and the sun will be in the sky at the same time for a bit, so you can have your debates about whether a werewolf would still transform even though it's still daytime.  

Once it's dark out, you'll be able to see how busy the sky can get - both the Moon and Jupiter can be seen inside the Libra constellation low in the sky, although Jupiter won't rise until an hour after the Moon. Venus, the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon itself, will be especially visible for the first couple hours after sunset.

Saturn and Mars will be higher in the sky, and might look like they're only especially bright stars unless you have a telescope to see details like Saturn's rings - Saturn rises at 12:24 a.m., and Mars at 1:28 a.m.




So you'll have plenty to see tonight, but no, the Pink Moon will not actually look pink. The only time a moon really changes color is during a blood moon, when the moon looks reddish because it's caught in a lunar eclipse.
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