Excitement for stargazers as next Pink Moon due over UK in days

Stargazers could be in for a treat this week as the fourth Full Moon of 2023 is set to light up UK skies.

On Thursday, April 6, the Pink Moon will rise in all its glory, reaching peak illumination at 5.34am.

Despite what its name suggests, the moon does not actually turn pink.

Instead, it is widely accepted that this Full Moon gets its name from the pink flowers that bloom in spring. 

The vividly coloured pink phlox wildflowers, which are native to North America and frequently bloom around the time of the Full Moon, are thought to be the source of the name.

Other names used around the world for April’s Full Moon are Breaking Ice Moon, Budding Moon, Awakening Moon, Egg Moon, and Paschal Moon.

The Full Moon is the lunar phase when the moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective.

They occur every 29.5 days, the length of time it takes for the Moon to orbit the Earth and complete one lunar phase cycle.

When more than 98 per cent of the Moon’s disc is illuminated, it can appear to be full a day before or after.

There will be 13 Full Moons this year, with two falling in August.

This occurs every 2.8 years, and we get a “Blue Moon”. That name was first used in the March 1946 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.

The Pink Moon will be followed by the Flower Moon on May 5, the Strawberry Moon on June 3, and the Buck Moon on July 3.

Full Moon list 2023

  • January 6: Wolf Moon
  • February 5: Snow Moon
  • March 7: Worm Moon
  • April 6: Pink Moon
  • May 5: Flower Moon
  • June 3: Strawberry Moon
  • July 3: Buck Moon (supermoon)
  • August 1: Sturgeon Moon (supermoon)
  • August 30: Blue Moon (supermoon)
  • September 29: Harvest Moon (supermoon)
  • October 28: Hunter’s Moon
  • November 27: Beaver Moon
  • December 26: Cold Moon

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