Earth Day just got even better with a very tiny moon showing itself on April 22, 2016. It was a full moon but appeared to be much smaller than it usually is. The moon last Saturday was the smallest full moon in 2016. People call this no ordinary full moon the ‘mini-moon’ which stretched 30,000 miles away from Earth. Another full supermoon is expected to rise on November 14 this year.
But the spectacular view of the mini moon doesn’t end with its incredibly small size because it is also a pink moon as it is a bit of a misnomer. Pink moon is not literally pink in color. It was named pink moon after an American folklore that describes the first plants to grow each year during the Pink Phlox every April.
Some culture also calls it the Egg Moon, the Fish Moon, and the Grass Moon as it coincides with varying events in different parts of the world.
The Scientific term for the mini moon is apogee moon or micro-moon. It occurs during a full moon or new moon at a specific time that the moon is reaching apogee or the farthest orbit point of the moon from Earth.
Since it is farther away, it appears to be smaller than normal which is exactly 14% smaller and dimmer than usual. The illumination of the moon results to looking more like 30% smaller.
The earthsky.org discusses that closest and farthest full moons are witnessed every year. The mini moon returns exactly one year and 18 days the following year, so present calculations say that the next mini moon will fall on June 9, 2016.
“The full moon that appears on the night of April 21-22 in the Americas is the smallest full moon of the year. According to the EarthSky website it lies about 30,000 miles farther away from earth than the full moon supermoon, which will rise in the sky Nov. 14. It is sometimes referred to as the micro-moon or the mini-moon,” said Bill Lindel in a Sacbee report.
Pink moon came from an Algonquin tribe and New England colonists. It was same time April when a full moon happens and a spring flower known as moss pink blossoms. They call this flower phlox.
“Stargazers who step outside tonight will likely get to see the fabled “pink moon” of April, but unfortunately, unless viewed through tinted glasses, it won’t be pink. In fact, it should actually look smaller than usual. The pink moon is the name for April’s full moon, earning its nickname from a pink flower called wild ground flox, NASA explained in a statement it released when astronaut Soichi Noguchi photographed a pink moon in April of 2010,” reported Fox News.
According to Space, “The full moon of April, which is traditionally known as the Full Pink Moon or Pink Full Moon, actually occurs on Friday night (April 22). This year, April’s full moon will be the smallest of the year because the moon will be at the farthest point from Earth in its elliptical orbit. Slooh representatives have dubbed the event a “mini-moon” and will showcase live views of the full moon on Slooh. com beginning at 8 p. m. EDT (0000 GMT) tonight.”
“As the Earth and moon move to their furthest points from each other, we’ll all get a unique chance to see the full moon as it appears smallest to us here on Earth . a ‘mini’ moon, and a Pink Full Moon at that,” added Slooh representatives.