Strawberry Moon and First Day of Summer

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Strawberry Moon and the Summer Solstice
Strawberry Moon and the Summer Solstice

A strawberry moon is seen in June. A strawberry moon at the same time as the summer solstice is a very rare occurence.

What is a Strawberry Moon?

A Strawberry Moon, courtesy of Flickr
A Strawberry Moon, courtesy of Flickr

According to The Farmer’s Almanac, a strawberry moon is named because it is the full moon that occurs in June, the peak of strawberry season. The last time a full moon landed on the summer solstice was in 1948.

What is the Summer Solstice?

The summer solstice is:

  • The day which has the most minutes of sunshine
  • The day when the midday Sun is at its highest
  • The Sun rises at its leftmost spot on the horizon and sets at its rightmost position
  • The Sun’s path across the sky makes its longest and curviest arc.
  • At 1:00 pm, your shadow is the shortest it will be all year.

The Full Moon

Because it lands exactly on the solstice, this particular full moon does not just rise as the Sun sets, but is the opposite of the Sun in many other ways too.

  • The Sun gets super high, so this Moon must be super low
  • Even at its loftiest height at 1AM, it is super low in the sky.
  • Because it is so low in the sky, this Full Moon’s light must go through the thickest part of the atmosphere, and because it is also humid this time of year, gives the Moon an amber color.

Bob Berman, writing on The Farmer’s Almanac, says:

“The moment of full Moon is early Monday morning. So it will look equally full on Sunday night and Monday night. You get two chances to enjoy the Solstice honeymoon”.

 

Strawberry Moon and the Summer Solstice
Strawberry Moon and the Summer Solstice

If you are reading this on time, you can watch a live stream from the giant telescope courtesy of Slooh. Check it out!

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