There's just one problem - it wasn't actually pink when it rose.
Astronomers and stargazers alike were buzzing this weekend about a mysterious ‘pink moon’ event. According to a report from CS Monitor, the event, which took place on Friday night, has roots in ancient Native American traditions.
There was just one problem with the story about the pink moon, however; it wasn’t actually pink when it rose this Friday. While this may sound disappointing at first, the event was actually still pretty neat. The name “pink moon” comes from the Native American association with the yearly blooming of the pink phlox, one of the first flowers to appear each spring.
The pink moon name was likely passed on to European settlers when they first came into contact with Native Americans. The moon served as a useful calendar, and many tribes used it to serve as a milestone for tracking the progress of the seasons. Colonial Americans most likely adopted the use of these landmarks along with the names when they began interacting with native populations.
So what’s the deal with the pink moon that happened this weekend? While no real pink was on display, the moon appeared tinier than usual in the sky on Friday night. This is because the moon and the Earth were at the farthest point from each other, known as the apogee. This is the counterpart to the famed “supermoon,” which occurs when the moon and the Earth are at their closest distance.
There are a number of other fun names that describe the different phases and positions of the moon in relation to Earth. The full moon in May is referred to as the “full flower moon,” which signals the beginning of warm sunny weather, and the time to start planting crops. The full moon in June is sometimes called the “full strawberry moon,” lining up with the completion of the first round of fresh berries.
So no, there was not an actual pink moon in the sky this weekend. But, like other curious names for lunar events, this weekend’s full moon was a unique occurrence that could be of interest to space fans and farmers alike.