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pink moon

How to see Wednesday's 'pink moon'

April's "pink moon" will make its annual reappearance on Wednesday night, but it won't be pink like the name suggests. Rather, the moniker is simply in reference to the herb "moss pink," which blooms in spring, NASA explains. Other names for the phenomenon include "Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes, the Fish Moon, as this was when the shad swam upstream to spawn."

The orb will reach peak illumination just after midnight on Thursday morning and will mark the first full moon of spring. It will be visible in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres and can also be seen toward the east on Wednesday evening and toward the west before sunrise on Thursday morning, according to EarthSky

The full moon "presents a special opportunity to see a beautiful moon and start looking at the moon as it goes through its phases," Dr. Noah Petro, chief of NASA's planetary geology, geophysics, and geochemistry lab, told CNN. "I encourage people to dust off their binoculars or telescopes to look closely at the moon, try to see the different colors (the light and dark regions), and recognize that those differences reflect different compositions of rock." He added: "When people look at the moon, I want them to think of not just of it as a nearby neighbor in space, but of the moon being like the eighth continent of the Earth."

To really get in on the fun, NASA suggests onlookers don "suitably celebratory celestial attire," as well as "enjoy the spring flowers, consider acts of charity, be welcoming and leave an extra seat at the table, and avoid starting any wars."