A special type of full Moon occurs in the month of April, and it’s known as a ‘Pink Moon.’ Tonight, April 21st, the pink Moon will occur for the year of 2016.
Now I know what you must be thinking” “oh, it has the word ‘pink’ in the name, so I should be able to look up into the sky tonight and see a pink-colored Moon!”
Well, as cool as that would be, that won’t be the case. Instead, it’s going to be a regularly-colored full Moon.
Instead, it’s better referred to as a ‘mini-Moon,’ because it will be a relatively small full moon compared to other full Moons that you see throughout the year. This is because tonight, the Moon will be furthest from the Earth that it ever gets during its orbital cycle, which causes the small Moon effect that many call an 'optical illusion.'
The animated GIF below, which originated from Wikimedia, shows the Moon as it orbits in its ‘rocking’ motion around the Earth. As you can see, it moves forward and back as it remains tidally locked to the planet during its orbit.
You’ll be able to tune in to the following live stream from YouTube to see the Pink Moon live; it starts at 8:00 PM EST time on Thursday:
Because it's nothing more than a slightly shrunken-down version of a full Moon, it's nothing spectacular to look at, but those interested in astronomy may want to whip out their telescopes to check it out tonight because it only happens once every year.
Source: Huffington Post