The 2017 April full moon, or pink moon, rises over St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, England
© Simon Maycock/Alamy Live New
Once in a pink moon
We're seeing a vivid 'pink moon' rise above St. Michael's Mount—a granite-encrusted isle connected to the rugged peninsula of Cornwall, England, by sandy flats and a man-made causeway that submerge at high tide. The same order of monks that established France's Mont-Saint-Michel built a church and priory here in the 12th century. In ensuing centuries of war, the insular monastic outpost was fortified into the imposing castle we see today. Privately purchased in 1659, the mount was opened to the public in 1954—and is still managed by members of the family that bought it over 350 years ago.
This photo may give the moon a somewhat salmon tint, but the term 'pink moon' doesn't arise from its coloration, nor from any place near the Cornish shores. The April full moon is called the pink moon because Native Americans associated it with the flowering of wild ground phlox, or moss pink, an early sign of spring in eastern North America. The pink moon for 2020 will crest tonight around 10:35 PM EDT, and for extra effect, it's also a supermoon—that means the moon will be full at the same time that it's passing closest to Earth, making it appear larger.