Heads up, sky watchers — and pink lovers, too: A 'pink supermoon' will be visible in UAE skies tonight.

Although some astronomy enthusiasts may have already seen the remarkably large moon reaching its peak at around 3.48am today, those who were asleep at that time still have an opportunity to catch this beautiful celestial spectacle.

“A full moon is typically visible for a few days around their peak,” said Sarath Raj, project director at Amity Dubai Satellite Ground Station and AmiSat, Amity University Dubai.

This year, the Pink Moon coincides with a supermoon, he said.

A supermoon happens when the moon is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit, making it appear slightly larger and brighter than usual. “However, the supermoon effect doesn't influence the Pink Moon's reddish colour,” Raj said.

A supermoon may appear up to 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than a full moon when it is farthest away from the Earth.

When, where to watch it
The best time to watch the moon is when it rises this evening, experts said.

Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group and director of Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre, offered tips: “To observe the supermoon for photography, the best time is when the moon rises. People should go to a high point or find an unobstructed area for the best view of the supermoon.”

Raj added: “From Dubai, the moon will be higher in the sky, later in the evening. Those who are observing tonight should look towards the east later tonight, with minimal light pollution.”

The moon is expected to rise at 7.07pm, he said. It would reach its transit point at 12.51am and set at 5.56am the next day.

Where did the moon get its name?

The name of April's Pink Moon is believed to have come from a pink flower known as the 'ground phlox', which commonly blooms in North America around this time. Other names for the celestial event are the Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon and Fish Moon.

April’s supermoon appears big and bright in the sky because of its closeness to Earth, passing within just 360,00km of our planet.

Why does the moon appear pink?
“The reddish hue the Pink Moon sometimes exhibits near the horizon is due to a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering," the expert said.

"This scattering separates sunlight with shorter wavelengths (like blue) from the longer ones (like red). As moonlight passes through our atmosphere, the blue gets scattered away, leaving the redder light to reach our eyes, causing the pinkish or reddish tinge.”

Raj pointed out that the reddish colour can be influenced by the moon's position in its orbit. “When the Moon is low on the horizon, it travels through a thicker layer of our atmosphere, causing even more scattering of the blue light and potentially intensifying the reddish tint.”

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