April 22 marks the day our natural satellite, the moon, will be the farthest – or the smallest – full moon of the year.
The phenomenon occurs as the moon is less than a day from lunar apogee, which is the satellite’s farthest point as it orbits the earth. The distance between when the moon is closest to the earth – also called supermoon, set to occur on November 14 – and when the moon is farthest is around 30,000 miles.
The event of the farthest full moon occurs each year. Also called the mini-moon, with each year it occurs a month and 18 days later, according to EarthSky.org. In 2017, the farthest full moon will occur on June 9.
The moon appearing on Friday is also called the pink moon, the name of which is derived from a pink flower, the wild ground phlox, which blossoms in the northern United States during springtime. Some of the other names of the moon in this event are sprouting grass moon, the egg moon and the fish moon, Weather Plus notes.
Native Americans came up with the names of the moons by associating lunar cycles with seasons.
FullMoonPhases.com noted, “Although many Native American tribes gave distinct names to the full moon, the most well known full moon names come from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the area of New England and westward Lake Superior. The Algonquin tribes had perhaps the greatest effect on the early European settlers in America, and the settlers adopted the Native American habit of naming the full moons.”
It should be noted that the moon will in fact not appear pink.
The moon will become full at 1:24 a.m. Spica will appear to the moon’s upper right, while Arcturus will appear to its upper left.
Enthusiasts can have the full moon experience atop the summit of Mammoth Mountain. One can witness the rising of the pink moon from the top of the Sierra by riding the Panorama Gondola. Further details can be accessed here.