Skies around the world on Monday night featured a unique sight: a "pink" supermoon.
A supermoon, as they are known, are just full moons that are slightly closer to Earth than usual. It happens a few times a year.
The “pink” name comes from American Indian Moon names, NASA's Gordon Johnson explained in a statement, and the April full moon is named after the herb moss pink, also known as creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox. It’s native to the eastern United States, Johnston said, and it is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring.
“Other names for this Moon include the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes of North America, the Fish Moon, as this was when the shad swam upstream to spawn,” Johnson wrote.
He added that this full moon is the first of several supermoons for 2021. The next supermoon, the "flower" supermoon, will be on May 26 and will be slightly closer to the Earth than Monday night’s moon. After that, the "strawberry" supermoon will be June 24.
Johnson also noted that the annual Eta-Aquariid meteor shower is expected to be active from April 19 through May 28, and will peak the morning of May 6. People in the United States can see around 10 meteors an hour.
Scientist Noah Petro of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland told the Associated Press the important thing is to stay safe while moon-gazing during the pandemic.
“If you can’t get out safely ... then fine,” Petro told the outlet. “Go out next month or whenever it’s safe again. Use the full moon as an excuse to get out and start looking at the moon.”
"Use this as an opportunity to not physically distance yourself, but emotionally connect with something that is physically far from us," he added.