A Full Moon On Earth Day Is Happening In 2016, So Here's How To See It
Astronomy lovers, rejoice! There's going to be an awesome full moon on Earth Day in 2016 — and that's today, Friday, April 22! This full moon is known as a "micro-moon" or "mini-moon," which means it's the smallest full moon we'll see in 2016. What else is super cool about tonight's astrological event? It's pink. That's right: Tonight, we're looking at a full moon, on Earth Day, that is also a Pink Moon. In many cultures, Pink Moons represent fertility, as well as a time to work on your relationships with others and explore your creativity. And what better time to do all that than on Earth Day?
Now, to be fair, if you're actively planning to stargaze and check out the Earth Day mini-moon, it's important to note that the moon won't actually appear pink to you (unless you're looking through tinted glass, which can turn just about anything pink). But we do always have a full moon in April; in addition to being called a Pink Moon, it's also known as the Grass Moon, Egg Moon, and Fish Moon.
However, this one is unusual because it's a mini-moon — so, as its name likely suggests, this moon will appear smaller than other moons. Why do mini-moons happen? Our perception of size aside, the more scientific explanation for this phenomena has to do with the fact that the Moon's rotation around our planet and its phase cycles don't last the same amount of time. In fact, the mini-moon, or the full moon aligning with apogee, is the opposite of a full moon supermoon, the full moon coinciding with perigee — so in layman's terms, you can think of it as being the flipside of the blood red supermoon we saw in September of 2015.
As an FYI for my fellow science-nerds, an "apogee" is when the moon is furthest from the Earth, and a "perigee" is when the moon is closest. Makes sense, right?
So, when is this mini-moon happening, and how can you see it? Technically, the mini-moon rose on Thursday — that is, last night — but full moons are visible for about three days, so you'll still be able to spot it tonight. Because we have different time zones all over the world (obviously), it's important to double check what time the moon will be most visible in your area. Regardless to what time you go outside, though, if the mini-moon is remotely in your vicinity, you should get a different look than you normally do at night, which is super sweet.
If you want to want to see the mini-moon from the comfort of your own home, you can view a livestream video; or, you can get your butt outside and celebrate the mini-moon with members of your community. If you're searching for local events where people are getting together to see the mini-moon, it's not a bad idea to search for Earth Day events and see what pops up.
If you miss this mini-moon, it unfortunately won't happen again until June 2017. So I'd get your livesteam ready to go and find your favorite camera and head outside to catch a glimpse of this super small, super pretty, Earth Day mini-moon.