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'Pink Full Moon' Thursday To Look Normal When Lunar Gazing From US

Image: 'Pink Full Moon' Thursday To Look Normal When Lunar Gazing From US The "pink" full moon of April gets its name from the pink phlox flower, right, not the actual color of the moon.

Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013 02:20 PM

By Michael Mullins

Sky watchers anticipating a "pink" full moon Thursday night might be disappointed if they take the term literally, at least if they're lunar gazing in the United States.

For those in Europe, Africa, and Asia, however, the moon just might appear pinkish, due to the fact that it will coincide with a partial lunar eclipse.

April's full moon, traditionally called the 'pink moon,' is a reference to the pink phlox flower, one of the first to bloom in spring, not the actual color of the moon.

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"This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring," says the Farmers’ Almanac. "Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn."

For Americans, the moon will most likely appear in the usual greyish-white color we are most accustomed to, reported Space.com.

In North America, the moon will be below the horizon when the eclipse is scheduled to occur.

Traditionally, a "pink" moon signifies the end of winter and beginning of spring.

According to the Farmer's Almanac, each month's full moon has its own name.

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Examples include January's "full wolf moon" named in honor of the packs of wolves that once howled outside Indian villages when winter's the cold, deep snow prevented hunting, and the "full worm moon" in March, when warmer temperatures give way to emerging earthworm appear as the frozen ground thaws.

Related stories:

Moonwatchers Treated to Total Lunar Eclipse

Houston Lawyer on Search for Missing Moon Rocks

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