Around the Island

‘Super’ moon lives up to its name

On Monday evening, the aptly-named “Pink Super Moon” was an astonishing sight for Islanders lucky enough to witness it.

There are only two of these super-heavenly events this year; the next one is coming up right behind the first, on May 26, exactly a month after this week’s startling celestial event.

According to Space.com, super moons are full moons that seem, to our eyes, to be larger than usual, because “the full moon can appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at its farthest from Earth. That’s because it coincides with the moon’s arrival at perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit.”

April’s super moon is also labeled “pink,” not necessarily because of its coloring but because of “creeping phlox,” a kind of pink moss that is one the earliest plants to bloom in the spring.

Native American people have named the April moon “the Sprouting Grass Moon,” and tribes in the Pacific Northwest know it as “the Fish Moon,” since it coincides with salmon swimming upstream to spawn.

According to NASA, Eastern Christianity calls April’s full moon “the Paschall Moon,” since it rises around the time of Orthodox Easter, which will be celebrated this year on May 2.

Buddhists associate the Pink Super Moon with the quest for peace. It’s said that the Buddha visited Sri Lanka during a confrontation between factions threatening civil war, and brought reconciliation and peace to the country.  

(Credit: Adam Bundy)