April Astronomy: First Meteor Shower in Months, Pink & Rare Black Moon
The good news, the skies will be filled with bright moons and shooting stars in the month of April. The bad news is, Spring is usually the cloudiest time of year, creating less than optimal viewing conditions.
If Mother Nature cooperates, we'll see the first meteor shower since January this month, along with a Full Pink Moon to kick off April and a Black Moon to end.
Full Pink Moon - April 16, 2022
A Full Pink Moon, the first full moon of the spring season, will rise on Saturday, April 16, 2022, according to Accuweather. Don't expect to see an actual pink moon though. Despite its name, the moon will have a golden hue.
"The name derives from the wild ground phlox, a pink flower that typically blooms in April."
The Pink Moon is also known as the Paschal Full Moon this year - an important Moon to those who celebrate Easter since Easter’s date depends on the date of the Paschal Full Moon.
Lyrid Meteor Shower - April 21-22, 2022
For the first time since January, shooting stars will fill the sky. The Lyrid Meteor Shower will peak on the night of Thursday, April 21, 2022, into the early hours of Friday, April 22. Typically you can see anywhere from 15 to 20 meteor showers per hour.
It usually gets extra attention as it is the first event of its kind since the Quadrantid meteor shower which peaked on January 2.
The best time to watch this year's Lyrids will be between midnight and 2 AM before the moon rises. Be sure to find an open dark area, away from any lights, and pray Mother Nature is nice that night.
Black Moon - April 30
April will end with an uncommon lunar event that no one will notice called the Black Moon, which isn't really an astronomical term, according to the Farmer's Almanac.
If you ask a sample of astronomers, both professional and amateur, very few will have even heard of it.
A Blue Moon is the second full moon of the month. A Black Moon is the second new moon of a month. Unfortunately, you won't see much since it'll cross the sky during the day with the sun's glare blocking it.
The last Black Moon was in July 2019, and it won't happen again until December 2024.