A pink moon will peak soon over Pennsylvania, then a meteor shower. When to see it all

A full “pink” moon will peak above State College soon, and Pennsylvania stargazers can also look forward to a variety of upcoming local astronomy gatherings.

The pink moon gets its name not from the hue of the full moon, but because wildflowers bloom in April. Specifically, the flower “moss pink” inspired the name, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Along with the pink moon, April’s full moon is also referred to as the sprouting grass moon, egg moon, fish moon and other names, according to NASA.

Here’s when to catch a look at the pink moon this year in State College.

When will the pink moon peak in State College?

The pink moon will peak at 7:49 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Tuesday in State College, but you might catch a better view just a little later as the sun sets at 7:59 p.m.

The moon will appear full from Monday morning to Thursday morning, NASA reports.

The National Weather Service forecasts Tuesday night will be mostly cloudy in State College, with a 70% chance of precipitation and a low around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Showers are likely after 8 p.m., the NWS forecasts.

The Central Pennsylvania Observers will hold a free, public stargazing event from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. May 3 at Tudek Park. The organization also holds public astronomy meetings the first Thursday of each month at the South Hills Business School in State College.

Pennsylvania stargazers will get to enjoy a meteor shower in early May when the Eta Aquarids make their way across the sky. The meteor shower will peak the night of May 4, according to astronomy publication Space.com, and should be more visible than the 2023 Aquarids because the moon won’t interfere as much.

You can also look forward to the Central Pennsylvania Observers’ annual Black Forest Star Party Sept. 6 to Sept. 8 at Cherry Springs State Park. The event has a $40 entry fee for adults, and the host organization asks people to review star party etiquette before attending. Pre-registration is required.

More full moons in 2024

If you don’t get a chance to see this month’s pink moon, you’ll still have eight more opportunities to see a full moon in 2024.

Here’s this year’s full moon calendar, with information from Space.com:

  • May 23: Flower moon

  • June 21: Strawberry moon

  • July 21: Buck moon

  • Aug. 19: Sturgeon moon (supermoon and blue moon)

  • Sept. 17: Harvest moon (supermoon and partial lunar eclipse)

  • Oct. 17: Hunter’s moon (supermoon)

  • Nov. 15: Beaver moon (supermoon)

  • Dec. 15: Cold moon

Full moons have multiple names, and many come from Indigenous cultures. The Farmers’ Almanac uses Indigenous moon names, along with monikers from colonial America and other North American sources.