Full Pink Moon

This week, the moon will continue to fill with light as it waxes from First Quarter to full before the coming Easter weekend. Over the rest of the week, the moon will rise later each night and pass through the constellations of Leo, and then Virgo (the Maiden) and Libra (the Scales). Friday morning brings the Full Pink Moon, so it will look full on both Thursday and Friday night.

This name of the full moon comes from the “wild ground” phlox, a beautiful pink flower that blooms during the spring season. Also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, and Fish Moon, the April full moon always shines in or near the stars of Virgo, and is visible globally. When fully illuminated, the moon’s geology is enhanced, especially the contrast between the bright ancient cratered highlands and the dark, younger, smoother maria.

When the Full Pink Moon crosses the night sky this week, it will be accompanied by several bird-themed constellations. The diamond-shaped constellation of Corvus (the Crow) sits 1.5 fist diameters to the right of the bright star Spica in Virgo (the Maiden). The bird is already low in the southeastern sky after dusk, and then flies higher, hour-by-hour. Cygnus (the Swan) will finish “taking off” from the northeastern horizon shortly after midnight local time. After 2 a.m., Aquila (the Eagle) will hunt in the eastern sky, to the lower right of Cygnus. And while it’s stretching the metaphor a little, the huge northerly constellation of Draco (the Dragon) sits directly above Cygnus, and winged Pegasus will rise to join the flock in the predawn.

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