pink moon

Monday’s moon rises above the treeline west of Champaign.

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That pink moon that caught our eye Monday night?

“Well, it wasn’t really pink,” spoil-sport Dave Leake said. “When the moon is low on the horizon, it can look amber or even reddish for the same reasons sunsets look orange. It’s the sunlight having to travel through much more air and the other colors get scattered out.

“The pink comes from the time of year. In April, we see the early springtime blooms of a certain wildflower called the creeping phlox, which is pink.”

Our go-to for all things sky, the former Parkland College planetarium director and current WKIO talent wasn’t reaching for his camera on the first of a three-night supermoon run.

“I like to frame the moon with something else here on the earth,” he said. “Like the moon over a canyon in Utah. Decatur has a 9/11 memorial by the lake and I once caught the full moon between the two towers. When we can get the moon near a planet, especially Venus, is beautiful. That opportunity will be coming up later this month.”

Back to WKIO ... Leake’s favorite “moon” songs:

1. “I used to teach moon phases in class using Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance.’“

2. “We used ‘Walking on the Moon’ by the Police in one of our planetarium light shows. I got to put on our spacesuit and walk around with a guitar strapped on. Take that Neil Armstrong!”

3. “‘Bark at the Moon’ from Ozzy Osbourne. He played that song during the 2017 eclipse from southern Illinois. I loved showing that video in class … back when I was teaching.”

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