A solar eclipse and Pink Moon arrive in April along with other unmissable astronomical events

The mythical Pink Moon of the Native Americans, the first meteor shower of the year and a partial solar eclipse are among the astronomical phenomena of April 2022.

This year, spring came a couple of days earlier. Despite the rush of the season, propelled primarily by the climate crisis, the universe continues its course. Therefore, the astronomical phenomena of April 2022 will arrive on the expected dates and times. Among the most important, are the Pink Moon , the first meteor shower of the year and a partial solar eclipse, which can be seen in all its splendor on the celestial vault.

Here we explain where they can be observed from , what will be the best time to do it and where the names of each one come from.

Pink Moon as seen from Sydney, Australia, in April 2021. / Photo: Steven Saphore/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Also known as the Grass Moon, or the Egg Moon, the Pink Moon is the first of the astronomical phenomena of April 2022 . It will appear in all its splendor in the celestial vault of the northern hemisphere on April 16, and will be visible for a couple more days. It receives its name from the ancestral native cultures of the United States, due to the particular coloration with which it is dyed on this night of the year.

It is not that the constitution of the Moon changes. On the contrary, as NASA explains, the changes in its appearance "are usually related to the position it occupies with respect to the Sun and the Earth". Finally, our only natural satellite does not emit light by itself, but reflects it from the central star of the Solar System.

Rain of Lyrids (April 22 and 23)

After several months of meteorite 'drought', the second astronomical phenomenon of April 2022 interrupts the shortage. As is customary at the beginning of spring, the Lyrid Shower is the first meteor shower of each year . Historically, it is the oldest rain on record, says NASA , since they have been observed for 2,700 years.

This set of cometary debris is named after the constellation from which it came, Lyria . In less congested cities with light pollution , the astral formation can be seen during the darkest of nights. This year, the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to start around the 15th , and last until just over the 23rd.

The greatest concentration of these celestial bodies in their passage near the Earth will be seen on the 22nd at night . However, there will be a few still for the following night. It is recommended to start seeing them "at night until moonrise", when they will shine more in the Northern Hemisphere.

Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation (April 29)

In astronomical study, elongation is understood as the angle formed between the  Sun  and a  planet  seen from  Earth. On April 29, Mercury will reach its furthest point from our planet, making it look very far away. "Thus, it will be positioned in the best possible place for observers from mid-northern latitudes," explains National Geographic Spain.

The best strategy to see the planet at this point is to get a high powered telescope. If such a device is obtained, perhaps, it will be possible to perceive the characteristic disc of the planet , illuminated by the sun's rays.

Partial Solar Eclipse (April 30)

The first solar eclipse of 2022 will be visible from the southeastern Pacific and southernmost South America . According to astronomical estimates, the moment of greatest eclipse will be when "the axis of the moon's shadow cone passes closest to the center of the Earth." This corresponds to 4 days before the satellite reaches its apogee , the furthest point from our planet.

This eclipse has been cataloged as 'Saros 119', which describes its periodicity and frequency. Solar eclipses that carry this label can happen up to 5 times a year , although they are not always visible all over the world. This interactive map shows how the astronomical phenomenon will be presented in April 2022.

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