Tonight’s pink moon must not have received a memo about social distance; the moon will be the closest to the earth today than any other day of the year, making it the largest full moon in 2020.
The moon is, however, more than 1.8 meters away from the nearest (heavenly) body during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today (April 7), at 2:08 PM EDT (1808 GMT), the moon was approximately 221,772 miles (356,907 kilometers) from Earth, the closest it will be all year, according to Space.com, a sister site to Live Science.
You can see the moon rising in the sky tonight (in New York, it happens at 7:05 am local time). But the moon does not appear full until 10:35. EDT (0235 GMT), according to NASA. If you miss it, don’t worry – the moon will also appear full on Wednesday night.
related: Sparkling images of a supermoon
The pink moon is also a supermoon. It is about 0.1% closer to Earth than the full moon in March was, making it the best of the super moons for 2020, NASA reported. In addition, this pink supermoon seems 7% larger than an average full moon.
However, the moon will not actually look pink unless it is covered by an opaque pink cloud or haze.
So why does it get a pink moniker? It is named after the pink wildflower Phlox subulata, which bloom in eastern North America in early spring, Space.com reported. If you do not know the scientific name, you may recognize it by the common names of the wilderness river, the creeping river, the moss salmon and the herb moss pink.
Today’s moon has another claim to fame – it is known as “Paschal Moon” and helps set the day for Easter. The first Sunday after Paschal Moon is Easter, which is why Easter falls on April 12 this year.
You can watch a live stream from the pink supermoon on Virtual Telescope Project today, or watch it here at Live Science.
Originally published it Live science.