Tonight’s “pink moon” will be the largest supermoon of the year

Americans across the country can take a welcome break from coronavirus confinement as a super “pink moon” rises in the sky Tuesday night. It will be the largest supermoon of 2020, according to EarthSky.

This full moon coincides with the lunar perigee — the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, which gives it the appearance of being bigger. When it becomes a full moon at 10:35 p.m. ET Tuesday, it will be just 221,851 miles away from Earth. 

Despite its name, the moon won’t won’t actually turn pink, according to Jacqueline Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. The moniker is linked to the spring season and a wildflower native to North America called moss phlox that blossoms in beautiful pink colors, she said. 

“They are one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring, therefore the first full moon of April got the name,” Faherty told CBS News.  “It’s hard to say when the naming occurred.  It stems from Native American traditions.”

The pink moon is viewable all over the globe, if weather permits. While most of the world is confined to their homes because of a coronavirus measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus, Faherty said she believes this is a great time to “re-acquaint ourselves with the cosmos.”

She had some suggestions for those interested in seeing Tuesday night’s phenomenon.”If you can step outside for a moment, I most definitely suggest watching the moonrise,” she added. The moonrise, which occurs as the sun sets, will happen at about 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday.