Expect ‘Pink Moon’ on Good Friday, but don’t hope to see blush
MANILA, Philippines — If Friday night’s sky will be clear and dark, Filipinos would have the best view of an astronomical phenomenon called “Pink Moon.”
Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS) Vice President Leogiver Mañosca said Thursday the term “Pink Moon” is a nickname for April’s full moon and will be completely visible through the naked eye.
“The term comes from Phlox stolonifera, a pink flower common in the vicinity of Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania south to northern Georgia in the US,” Mañosca told INQUIRER.net in an email interview.
But Mañosca said do not expect to see pink because while the name suggests that the moon will be in that shade, Friday’s full moon’s color will actually be yellow, orange, or red – depending on the location of the person seeing it.
“This usual phenomenon is a result of the scattering of light from the moon by the ‘dusty’ atmosphere when the moon is very close from the horizon that then transmits the said colors to our eyes. The same reason is applied why we have red sunsets,” Mañosca explained.
Not only is the color of the moon would be in varying shades, he noted that even the moon’s size would be different as it might look larger than the normal full moon.
“The rising moon tomorrow (Friday) could appear bigger as result of the called Ponzo Illusion that we typically observe every time it is rising or near setting,” Mañosca pointed out.
Still, the best part about the phenomenon, Mañosca said, is that one does not have to be an expert to observe it. Viewing the Pink Moon would not also require gadgets such as binoculars or telescope to appreciate its beauty.
The full moon is expected to occur around 7:12 p.m. here in the Philippines, according to Mañosca. Pray, however, that Friday night’s sky will be “cloudless and dark.”
“We can have the best view of this month’s full moon or the ‘Pink Moon’ under cloudless and dark skies that is free from any obstructions like nearby buildings, infrastructures, or trees,” he said. “Rural night skies perhaps will give an observer an extra better view of the moon.”
Mañosca then had this advise to onlookers: “Just look up and appreciate the beauty of our nearest celestial neighbor and never expect for a pinkish hue.” /kga