MUSCAT: If you are not gazing at the night sky yet, perhaps you should. This is the closest the moon will be to Earth and tonight’s night sky spectacle is the biggest supermoon of 2020.
While there was an earlier confusion about the supermoon, Oman Observer reached out to Oman Astronomical Society to explain what the phenomenon is all about and why tonight, April 8, is officially, Muscat and the Middle Eastern states’ pink moon.
Omar Al Hosni from the Oman Astronomical Society has these to say:
What is the significance of Pink Moon and why is it called so?
A Pink Moon is the rare result of several space phenomena occurring at once. The name is slightly deceiving because rather than pink, the Moon will actually appear a slightly pale orange. A Pink Moon is a type of Super Moon, which occurs when a new or full Moon is unusually close to Earth. According to Nasa, today’s Pink Moon will be the “most super” of the full Super Moons this year.
Is it an important event for star gazers?
Pink moon will be the main feature in the night sky. It will be the biggest and brightest supermoon of 2020 The supermoon will rise on the night, glowing all night long, and will be bright enough to cast shadows on the ground. Although it will appear slightly bigger and brighter than normal, the difference will be subtle and may be difficult for the average observer to notice. So it is good chance for star gazers.
To which culture is the pink moon related to?
The phrase “Pink Moon” comes from Northern Native Americans, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They named it after a spring flower called Wild Ground Phlox, which is native to the eastern USA and one of the earliest widespread flowers of spring. It’s got a pink hue and blossoms around the same time as April’s full moon. This natural phenomenon is always linked to the date of Easter because it appears after the spring equinox. In other parts of the world, the celestial phenomenon is referred to as the Egg Moon, Full Sprouting Grass Moon, Growing Moon or the Full Fish Moon.
Does full moon have an effect on people or birds?
The effect of the full moon on animals is not a myth. Scientists and doctors have discovered and recorded changes in animal behavior that occur during a full moon. According to the NIH, the lunar cycle may affect hormonal changes in insects. In fish, the lunar clock has an influence on reproduction. In birds, during full-moon days, daily variations in melatonin and corticosterone disappear. Additionally, deer and other herbivores in the wild will tend to ovulate at the full moon. In Australia’s great barrier reef, coral mate during the full moon. One animal behavior expert reported that hamsters spend markedly more aggressively on their wheels during the full moon.