'Pink Moon' Coincides With Lunar Eclipse

10:20 PM, Apr 25, 2013   |    comments
A total lunar eclipse
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We humans love to give names to things, and full moons are no exception. April's full moon goes by several different names, including 'Seed Moon' and 'Growing Moon', but this year 'Pink Moon' is going to jump to the top of the list for a lot of people due to a partial lunar eclipse.

The April full moon didn't earn the name 'Pink Moon' due to there being more lunar eclipses in April, though. According to the Farmer's Almanac, it got the name due to the colour of the flowers that bloom on an herb called 'moss pink' or 'wild ground phlox', which is an early-blooming spring plant.

For anyone in North or South America, the Moon didn't look any different to Thursday, since the eclipse happened between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT, before the Moon rose. However, folks in Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia, were able to watch the Moon change color as it slipped through part of Earth's shadow.

This was only a partial lunar eclipse, as the Moon passed through the Earth's penumbra and only a tiny sliver of the Moon's north pole slipped through the darker umbra. However, it was still enough to paint the surface of the Moon reddish or pink, letting it live up to that traditional name.

Thursday's moon was really only the precursor to next month's Annular Solar Eclipse, when the Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth at such a distance that it will make the Sun look like a ring of fire in the sky.

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