green moon
According to the hoax, the moon appears green once every 420 years.Aaron Fallin/Flickr Creative commons

Rumours, spread on social media, have led some internet users to believe the moon would appear green to people on Earth, either on 20 April or 29 May 2016. The hoax managed to convince thousands to share posts on Twitter and Facebook advertising the "event" with some believing its veracity.

According to the posts shared on social networks, the phenomenon only occurs when the Earth, Uranus and the Moon are aligned, with Uranus' green-glow reflecting off the lunar satellite for a duration of 90 minutes. The phenomenon was described as a unique, once in a lifetime event, as the moon only goes green every 420 years.

The hoax may have been created as a way to play on the fact that 20 April is a day during which people around the world celebrate smoking cannabis.

The moon is not green - it's pink

Though this particular story is fake, people will still be able to witness a "mini pink moon" on 21 April. This does not mean that the moon will shrink, but the name marks the fact April 2016's full moon will be at its most furthest point away from Earth in the year, appearing to look smaller than usual from Earth.

The moon will certainly not turn pink either, but the adjective has been associated to April's full moon for many years. It is a tradition that dates back to native American tribes who gave names to different full moons throughout the year, to symbolise changes they experienced in their natural environment and also mark the passing of time.

Associated with Spring and nature's rebirth, the pink moon refers to the return of some of the first spring flowers, the moss pink, or wild ground phlox.