full moon
What is the pink moon? Pacific Press/Getty

Stargazers will have the opportunity to watch April's full Pink Moon rise in the night sky, in the early morning of 11 April 2017.

Unlike what its name suggests, the Moon will not suddenly turn a shade of bright pink. The term 'pink moon' is actually a reference to ancient Native American tradition of giving colourful, poetic names to the full moons.

In US regions from New England to Lake Superior, the native American Algonquin tribe closely followed moon cycles to keep track of the passing of time. Every full moon marked a particular moment in the year – and a particular transformation in the natural world.

The Farmers' Almanac, a North American periodical published since 1818, lists all the names of the different full moons, as they were known by these people.

Associated with Spring, life and nature's rebirth, April's Pink Moon honours some of the first spring flowers to emerge, the 'moss pink', also known as wild ground phlox.

moss pink
The pink moon takes its name after the flower moss pink Issei Kato

Other tribes gave it other names such as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, or the Fish Moon in further obvious references to Spring, fertility and nature.

Although you should be able to get a good view of the Full Moon without any astronomical instrument, you can also watch it rise in the sky live online through Slooh's community telescopes.

The pink Moon will reach its fullest phase on 11 April 2017 at 2:08 am EDT – that's 7:08 am UK time.