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'Full Pink Moon' to rise

Apr 4, 2012 - By Carolyn B. Tyler

April's full moon rises this Friday, April 6.

Just a warning -- The "Old Farmer's Almanac" says that a full moon in April brings frost. If the full moon rises pale, expect rain.

The April full moon is known as the Full Pink Moon because it traditionally heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox -- one of the first spring flowers, although with our unusually early spring of 2012, most of the flowers are already well out of the ground.

The April full moon is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.

According to the moon's signs and phases in April, the best days for planting in April are 3, 4, and 22 for above-ground crops and 12th and 13th for below-ground crops.

The best days for setting eggs are 5, 6, and 13, and the best days for fishing are the 1st through the 6th and again the 21st through the 30th of April.

The Old Farmer's Almanac also says the period from the full moon (April 6) through the last quarter of the moon (April 13) is the best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, and cutting timber.

A monthly look at the night skies of the northern Rocky Mountains, written by astronomers Ron Canterna, University of Wyoming; Jay Norris, Challis, Idaho Observatory; and Daryl Macomb, Boise State University, says:

"Say adios to the conspicuous winter constellations: Orion the hunter, Taurus the bull, and Canis Major, the big dog.

"Sirius, the brightest star in the sky in Canis Major, is as bright as Jupiter, which can be seen right after sunset in Aries.

"The brightest object in the sky right after sunset is Venus, which is located in Taurus this month.

"April heralds some of our summer constellations and the night skies will now be ruled by two familiar constellations -- Ursa Major, the Big Bear, and Leo the lion. Both are visible, high and to the northeast, and easily identifiable.

"The Big Bear, known to most as the Big Dipper, allows us to spot the star Polaris by following northward a straight line from the two stars at the end of the dipper.

"Polaris, the North Star, is in the constellation Ursa Minor, which means Little Bear, and is known as the Little Dipper.

"Note that Mars is in Leo and will rival the brightness of the star Regulus. Toward the zenith, you can see the constellation Auriga and its bright star, Capella, as well as the two Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux.

"For our planetary watchers this April, you can see Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn, which rises right after sunset in the constellation Virgo.

"Meteor shower alert for April 21-22: Look in Lyra after midnight. The Lynids will average around 20 meteors per hour."

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