“Pink Moon” Over Roanoke

April’s Full Moon arrived over the Star City Monday night, but for those who missed it, no worry. The peak full moon can again be seen Tuesday night as long as the skies are clear.

The Full Pink Moon has nothing to do with the actual color, but heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, one of the first spring flowers. The April full moon is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.

These various names were used by early Colonial Americans, who learned the names from local Native Americans when time was not measured by using the months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar, but by the observation of the seasons and lunar months. The name itself usually described some activity that occurred during that time in their location.

The April full moon marks the start of several religious festivals around the world, including the birth of Hanuman in India, the beginning of Passover for Jews and the Christian Easter celebrations take place on the first Sunday after the full moon.

In the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s now autumn, the April full moon is called the Hunter’s Moon. While the name of the April full moon is somewhat deceiving, the event also marks something that won’t be entirely ordinary. During this time, the moon will be close to the planet Jupiter. And, Jupiter is special now because it’s only a few days past its April 7 opposition, when Earth passed between this giant planet and the sun.

Bill Turner