If you thought this week's full moon, also known as the "Pink Moon," looked spectacular from Earth, then take a look at this photo of Earth's well-lit neighbor as seen by astronauts on the International Space Station.
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi posted this stunning moon photo from the space station on Thursday, a day after the full moon, making it his 14th "moon shot" photo since he launched to the orbiting lab in December. [More moon photos.]
"My favorite, 14th moon," Noguchi said via Twitter, where he posted the photo as Astro_Soichi. Noguchi is an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and is in the middle of a six-month mission to the space station. He lives on the station with five other astronauts, three from Russia and two from the United States.
There is a special lunar name for every full moon in a year.
The April 28 full moon is known as the "Full Pink Moon" because of the grass pink - or wild ground phlox ? flower, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers to bloom in the spring. This month's full moon is also known as the Sprouting Grass moon and the Egg moon.
Some coastal American Indian tribes have also referred to it as the Full Fish moon, since it marks a time when shad swim upstream to spawn.
The moon hit its peak fullness at 8:18 a.m. EDT (1218 GMT), so it was likely washed out as seen from NASA's space station Mission Control Center in Houston, where it was mid-morning. But Noguchi and his crewmates see sunrises and sunsets 16 times a day, giving them many more chances Wednesday to marvel at the full moon from the space station.
More Moon Info:
- Full Moon Names of 2010
- The Disappearing Moon: Why and Where it Hides
- Moon Mechanics: What Really Makes Our World Go 'Round
- Moon Myths: The Truth About Lunar Effects on You
- Top 10 Amazing Moon Facts
Stunning Views From Space:
- Gallery - Full Moon Fever
- Images - Space Station's Windows on the World
- Top 10 Snapshots From an Astronaut-Photographer
- Shutterbug Astronauts Smash Space Photography Record