The first full moon of spring, famously known as the “Pink Moon,” is set to rise this week.
It will be big. It will be bright. But contrary to its name, it will not necessarily be pink.
April’s Pink Moon, also called the Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon or Easter Moon, is named after pink wild flowers called wild ground phlox, which bloom in early spring and become widespread throughout the U.S. around this time of year. Full moon names originated from different Native American tribes, which used the moon to mark the end and beginning of seasons.
While it may not be hot pink, this spring’s full moon is still set to be special.
This year, in 2017, the full moon celebrates the change of seasons by pairing up with the dazzling planet Jupiter. Jupiter, in turn, stays in front of the constellation Virgo until November 2017. So even though the moon will leave Virgo after a few more days, Jupiter remains in the vicinity of Spica, Virgo’s brightest star, for months to come.
The Pink Moon will reach peak fullness, which occurs when the moon is on the exact opposite side of the Earth as the sun, at 2:08 a.m. ET Tuesday — 11:08 p.m. PT on Monday. But it will still appear to stargazers everywhere until April 12.