As summer approaches, thoughts of fresh berries for strawberry shortcake are usually in order, but June is also blessed with what Native American cultures have nicknamed: the Full Strawberry Moon, and this year is extra special because it will be designated as well. like a supermoon to add to its lunar gravitational pull.
The June full moon, normally seen as the last full moon of spring or the first full moon of summer, is traditionally referred to as the Strawberry Moon. In a season filled with four supermoons (they occur monthly from May to August), the June lunar event culminates on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:51 a.m. EDT (1151 GMT).
If inclement weather is clouding your Tuesday night, you can watch June’s Strawberry Supermoon live online in a free webcast from the Virtual Telescope Project (opens in new tab) in Ceccano, Italy. It starts at 3:15 PM EDT (1915 GMT).
Supermoons are usually defined as any full moon that is at least 90% away from perigee (that point where the moon is closest to Earth). June’s full moon is 222,238.4 miles (357,658 km) from our planet when it rises at dusk. Moon lovers should turn their gaze to the southeast after sunset as the Strawberry Moon rises elegantly above the horizon.
Related: Supermoon Secrets: 7 Surprising Facts About the Big Moon
Those living in North American time zones will experience this celestial event later that same evening. For exact times, check out this Moonrise and Moonset Calculator (opens in new tab) from the Farmers Almanac to see when it will take place in your area.
Supermoons are often known to appear slightly larger than a normal full moon, up to 30% brighter and 17% larger, but in reality they appear to look much the same, observed as a bright orb casting a slight golden hue. While the actual full moon time on Tuesday is immediate, it will appear full to the casual observer from June 13-15.
The Full Strawberry Moon owes its name to its performance during the short harvest season for its strawberries of the same name. That name and other colorful full moon nicknames found on the pages of The Old Farmer’s Almanac are derived from multiple sources, including Native American influences, colonial American traditions, and Old World European customs. Names for full or new moons were historically used to follow particular seasons, but in modern times we mostly use them as evocative nicknames harking back to simpler days.
For avid amateur astronomers looking to photograph the moon, check out our best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses guides for helpful tips. You can also read our current suggestions on how to photograph the moon with a camera to perfect your moon photo shoot.
Editor’s Note: If you take a great moon photo and want to share it with the readers of Space.com, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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