This Easter weekend will mark the rising of the full, so-called “pink moon,” the fourth full moon of the year.
Ahead of its rise to peak early Friday morning, here’s what you need to know about the “pink moon.”
What is a full “pink moon”?
April’s full moon was nicknamed the “pink moon” by Native Americans for the pink wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest flowers to grow in spring, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
However, the moon itself isn’t pink. It will look like any other full moon when it rises this weekend.
How is Easter related to the moon?
Historically, Easter is supposed to fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring.
However, differences in the way the Christian church calculated spring in A.D. 325 and modern scientific calculations of spring, mean Easter’s date can change dramatically each year, from as early as March 22 to as late as April 25, according to the Almanac.
So even though the vernal equinox (which marks the beginning of spring) happened on March 20 this year -- the same day that the full moon rose -- because the ecclesiastical calendar marks the first day of spring as March 21, Easter couldn’t happen for another month, until the next full moon, this weekend.
When can I see the pink moon?
The “pink moon” will reach its peak on Friday morning at 7:12 a.m. ET, according to the Almanac, but the best view of the moon will be on Thursday night.