'Super Pink Moon': Biggest full moon of 2020 rises tonight
Need a distraction during these stay-at-home times? Look up tonight to see the first supermoon of spring.
- A supermoon occurs when the moon comes unusually close to Earth and simultaneously appears full.
- The 'super pink moon' won't actually appear pink; the name comes from North American wildflowers that bloom in spring.
- You can watch it live through The Virtual Telescope Project.
A "Super Pink Moon" will rise into the night sky on Tuesday, April 7, appearing as the biggest full moon of 2020. Weather permitting, you'll be able to catch the best glimpse of it around 10:35 pm E.T., according to Space.com.
But don't count on the moon appearing pink. The full moon of April is always called the pink moon, named after the North American phlox subulata wildflowers, which bloom in early springtime. As the first full moon of spring, April's full moon has also been called "Sprouting Grass Moon" and "Egg Moon".
"A supermoon looks bigger than a "micromoon" (when the full moon is at apogee) because it's about 40,000 kilometers closer to Earth on average."
A supermoon occurs when the moon comes unusually close to Earth and simultaneously appears full. Supermoons can appear up to 15 percent brighter and 7 percent bigger than a regular full moon. Why? The moon orbits our planet in an ellipse, meaning the moon's distance from us is constantly changing over the 27.32 days it takes to orbit the planet.
The Super Pink Moon will come within about 221,851 miles of Earth, compared to its average distance of 238,855 miles. NASA writes:
"The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 253,000 miles (405,500 kilometers) from Earth on average. Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 226,000 miles (363,300 kilometers) from Earth. When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon—and that's where we get a 'supermoon.'"
Just as the moon's distance from Earth is constantly changing, so too is the moon's distance from the Sun. That means not all supermoons appear equally big or bright. For example, the supermoon of November 2016 came within 221,524 miles of Earth, which is about 300 miles closer to our planet than tonight's moon. That's the closest the moon has come to Earth since 1948.
To determine the best time to view the Super Pink Moon in your area, you can check out this free moonrise and moonset calculator. If you can't catch a view of it tonight due to cloudy skies or social distancing, visit The Virtual Telescope Project, an online observatory that will live-stream the moon as it rises over Rome starting at 1:30 p.m. E.T..
If you miss it all, you can catch the next supermoon on May 7.
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To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
The future of education and work will rely on teaching students deeper problem-solving skills.
- Asking kids 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' is a question that used to make sense, says Jaime Casap. But it not longer does; the nature of automation and artificial intelligence means future jobs are likely to shift and reform many times over.
- Instead, educators should foster a culture of problem solving. Ask children: What problem do you want to solve? And what talents or passions do you have that can be the avenues by which you solve it?
- "[T]he future of education starts on Monday and then Tuesday and then Wednesday and it's constant and consistent and it's always growing, always improving, and if we create that culture I think that would bring us a long way," Casap says.
As a doctor, I am reminded every day of the fragility of the human body, how closely mortality lurks just around the corner.