The star of this week’s show is our moon! At 2:09 Tuesday afternoon, the moon will be 221,771 miles from Earth. This is the closest point in the Moon’s orbit for the month and is known as the lunar perigee.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but the Full Moon will arrive at 10:35 Tuesday night. April’s Full Moon is known as the Full Pink Moon because wild ground phlox traditionally becomes more abundant this time of year. These early spring flowers are pink and that’s where the moon gets its nickname. As I mentioned earlier, the perigee is Tuesday as well. Because the Full Moon is so close, we can call it a supermoon or a Full Pink Supermoon! In fact it’ll be the largest supermoon of 2020.
One thing you might catch if you can get to a dark spot with a clear view of the horizon is something known as the zodiacal light. While easier to see in tropical regions, the best chance of seeing it here in the evening is around the spring equinox. The zodiacal light is an eerie, pyramid shaped “glow” in the sky near the horizon. If you see it, what you’re looking at is cosmic dust lit up by the sun. Again, if you can get to a dark spot look to the west about an hour to an hour-and-a-half after sunset and you might just see what is also known as “false dusk”.
If you’re out and about Saturday morning, you might get lucky and catch a glimpse of the daytime moon. Look in the west after sunrise. Happy hunting!