The perennial “green moon” hoax is sadly back in full swing, just in time for 4/20. While this may seem like an innocuous internet hoax, innocent moms, dads, and grandparents across the country are being unfairly duped into believing that a green moon will light up the sky Friday night.
Snopes reports these rumors — that a glowing green moon will appear in the sky — have been circulating since at least 2015, when a Facebook user posted a heavily photoshopped picture of a green moon allegedly visible in May 2016 “for the first time since 1847.” While there is literally no part of this meme that’s even remotely true, the “green moon” image — and others like it — have been spreading misinformation ever since.
“Crazily, for weeks, people have searched for this post more than any other at our site,” EarthSky writes about the green moon in a tweet. Clearly, for reasons totally unclear to me, people are really invested in unearthing the “truth” about this garbage-looking moon. Thing is, there’s no truth to find.
The idea of a green moon is definitely rooted in internet humor, and sure: Original iterations of this meme were probably created to tickle the likes of people in stoner circles. But some people might not be getting the joke, and if moms and dads are confused, someone needs to defend their honor and set the record straight:
For actual lunar fans out there, the truth about Friday’s moon is not very exciting. The moon will be in its waxing crescent phase, which occurs after a new moon. Sure, it’s no green moon, but stargazers will still get a light show this weekend when the Lyrid Meteor Shower peaks on the night of April 22 into the morning of April 23.
If you or a loved one has been deceived by the green moon hoax, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you capybara gifs as consolation.