The internet went abuzz with the claim that, for the first time in 420 years, the moon will appear green on April 20 this year.
But it isn’t what it seems. Reason? “420” is a code word for marijuana (April 20 is 4-20, and that the event is supposedly taking place after 420 years), which a dozen pot smoking wiseacres at San Rafael High School came up with in 1971, according to Urban Dictionary. Some people recognize April 20 as Weed Day.
Nevertheless, there are a few who have taken the claim of the green moon a little too seriously. It all started with a Facebook post dated March 25, 2016, when the user said that a green moon will appear in the sky; however, some of the other versions of the theory say the date is April 20.
A description with the post reads: “For those who need information on how this works … All night long on Sunday, May 29th the seventh planet from the sun, Uranus, will park itself near the moon. The green giant is only 4 degrees away from the moon.
“The cosmic odd-couple will appear about four degrees apart in the sky—equal to 8 full moons side-by-side. This week after darkness falls the near full moon acts as a convenient guidepost for finding Uranus.”
As EarthSky.org notes that Uranus will be nowhere close to the moon on the day in question.
Snopes.com, who were the first to uncover the truth behind the claim, called the post “entirely humourous in nature.”
NASA released a statement clarifying the claim, emphasizing that the moon will not become green in colour. “While the moon will be full on the 20th, it will not turn green,” the statement reads. “During lunar eclipses the moon does turn red, because the Earth’s atmosphere filters light and the projections of all sunsets and sunrises illuminates the moon.”
A phenomenon called blue moon is set to occur on May 21. Herein, too, the moon will not appear blue in color. SeaSky.com explains this, saying, “Since this is the third of four full moons in this season, it is known as a blue moon.”
With regards to the green moon claim, the original post was meant to be a joke, but soon went beyond the scope of what it was really meant to be.