Super Moon April 2020: The biggest one all year

Tuesday night you'll be able to see the most full and large Supermoon of the year 2020. This is called the Super Pink Moon, but it won't actually appear to be pink in color. This one name (of many) includes two separate descriptors, one because it's a Super Moon, another because it's a Pink Moon. This is also the point at which the moon will appear larger than any other one of the Supermoons we see all year long!

When you can see the Super Moon

On April 6, 2020, North America will see this Super Moon rise at around 19:00 hours. That's approximately 7PM – and depending on your angle, you might see the moon in a light that's slightly more RED than usual. This moon will appear 30% brighter and 7% larger than the "average" full moon.

The point at which the moon is closest to the surface of the Earth is actually earlier in the day than when it becomes a "Supermoon." It needs both to be close to the surface of the earth AND as bright as possible thanks to syzygy. A Supermoon is a "perigee-syzygy" of the three celestial bodies we call the Sun, our Moon, and Earth.

An astronomical syzygy is the straight line configuration of three celestial bodies. Sometimes this means the Earth blocks the majority of the light from our moon, or vice-versa, and we get either a solar or a lunar eclipse.

When is the Supermoon April 2020

The point at which this April 2020 moon becomes a Supermoon is 10:35 p.m. EDT April 7, 2020 (aka 0235 GMT April 8). In North America, this means you'll need to stand outside and look at the moon at the following time:

- 10:35 PM Eastern Time

- 9:35 PM Central Time

- 8:35 PM Mountain Time

- 7:35 PM Pacific Time

The Name

The Pink Moon part comes from the Old Farmer's Almanac, which includes notes about the bloom of the ground phlox. This lovely pink flower is actually the color pink, and comes in bloom at around this time in North America.

If instead we work with information shared by Northern Michigan University on the Anishinaabe naming schedule, we're looking at a Popogami Giizis (Poh-poh-gah-mi) Broken Snowshoe Moon. If we take a peek at a ONLC (PDF) Ontario Native Literacy Coalition "practitioner's guide" (retrieved April 6, 2020) [Dated 2010] we see the thirteen moons of Ojibwe, Cree, and Mohawk cultures.

According to this guide, the moon we see in April is the Sucker Moon. The sucker is a fish (aka suckerfish, or suckermouth catfish) or fish spirit. This entity goes to the Spirit World in the weeks one might otherwise called April, bringing back cleansing techniques for our world.

Anishinaabe tradition places the Sucker Moon in different parts of the year, depending on region. What one might otherwise identify as February has a moon called Sucker Moon. Tradition says that the sucker gave up his life for the Anishinaabe in this fourth moon of the year (around February) to feed the people after a first month in which food is scarce.