Two “Supermoons” in a Row

Bill's Blog

We’ve been enjoying the full moon the past couple nights. The full moon of April is called the “Pink Moon”. That doesn’t mean that this full moon is unusually pink in color. It refers to the herb moss pink, also known as creeping phlox. The plant is native to the eastern United States and is one of the earliest widespread flowers of spring. (above pic. from David Beers).

Other names for this Moon include the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes of North America, the Fish Moon, as this was when the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Full “Pink Moon” from Austin Hamilton

For Eastern Christianity (which bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar) this is the full Moon before Easter, called the Paschal Moon. This is one of the years where the different calendars used by Western and Eastern Christianity make a difference. Eastern Christianity will be celebrating Easter on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Western Christianity celebrated Easter on Sunday, April 4. (pic. above from Austin Hamilton).

The exact time of the full moon is 11:32 pm EDT. For the U.S., the full moon is on April 26th. However, if you are in Europe – actually anybody in the Atlantic Time Zone to east, the full moon is on April 27. So if you have a calendar based on European time or Greenwich Mean Time, it will show April 27 as the date of the full moon.

Supermoon vs. Average Full Moon

Here’s a comparison of a supermoon on the left and an average full moon on the right. This supermoon looks about 7% bigger (not a lot) and 14% brighter than an average full moon. The full moon of May – the “Flower Moon” will also be a supermoon.

The average distance between the Moon and the Earth is roughly 238,855 miles. It varies from about 252,100 miles to 225,600 miles. At the time of this full moon, the earth moon distance was 222,211.7 miles. At the Flower Moon on May 26th, the Moon will be 95 miles closer to the Earth (222,116.6 mi.).

Here’s when you can see the Intl. Space Station flyover…the latest from spaceweatherthis week’s Sky at a Glance…check out the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Assnthe Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Assn. (Holland)…the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society…the Muskegon Astronomical Society. Moonset in Kent, England this Tue. AM.

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