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The truth about Thursday’s Pink Moon event

The so-called Pink Moon rose on Thursday evening, but it may also be closer to being a “Mini-Moon.”

pink-moon

Astronomers have, in fact, referred to Thursday’s event as the Mini Pink Moon, as that marked the smallest full moon of the year, or when Earth and the Moon are farthest apart from each other. As for the supposed pink color of that full moon, it’s more of a nickname than anything else. A special report from TIME (via Slooh and the Old Farmer’s Almanac) noted that the nickname was coined by Native Americans, in reference to the pink phlox flowers that are in bloom around this time of the year. The Pink Moon is also referred to as Egg Moon, Fish Moon, and Sprouting Grass Moon, though this remains its best-known nickname.

On Thursday, the Moon was about 30,000 miles away from Earth, making the full moon that night appear much smaller than it usually is. But the opposite will happen on November 14, which marks the next expected “super moon.” And that may be an especially “super” full moon event, as our satellite will be much closer to Earth than it normally is at that time of the year.

So, keeping all that in mind, it goes without saying that the photo above is not an actual Pink Moon, but an artist’s conception

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