A Strawberry Full Moon, shown here at Cape Sounion, Greece, in June 2021, will appear from moonrise June 12 to moonset June 15, according to NASA. (Petros Giannakouris, Associated Press)
Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes
WASHINGTON — June’s full moon, the Strawberry Moon, will light up the sky this week.
The moon will appear full from Sunday moonrise to Wednesday moonset, according to NASA. It will peak at 5:52 a.m. Tuesday but won’t be fully visible in North America until moonrise. This year’s Strawberry Moon is the first of two consecutive Super Moons.
Although there is no single definition, the term supermoon generally refers to a full moon that appears brighter and larger than other moons because it is in its closest orbit to Earth.
To a casual observer, the supermoon may appear similar in size to other moons. However, the noticeable change in brightness improves visibility and creates a great opportunity for people to start paying attention to the moon and its phases, said Noah Petro, head of the laboratory for planetary geology, geophysics and geochemistry at the Nasa.
The ideal time to look at the moon is when it is rising or setting because that’s when it will appear largest to the naked eye, said Jacqueline Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of natural History. (The Old Farmer’s Almanac Calculator can help you figure out what time the moon rises and sets at your location).
The best views of the June full moon in the United States will be in the southern half of the country and the southwest. A series of weak storms will cross the Northeast and Great Lakes regions early in the week, creating cloudy conditions that will make it difficult to see clearly, CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said.
Petro recommends moon watchers look for a clear horizon and avoid areas with tall buildings and thick forest. He also urges people to stay away from bright lights if possible for maximum visibility.
The name Strawberry Moon is rooted in the traditions of Native groups in the northeastern United States, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Dakota, and Lakota communities who saw the celestial event as a sign that strawberries and other fruits were ripe and ready to be picked. The Haida refer to the moon when the berries ripen, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
In Europe, this moon is often referred to as the honeymoon or mead moon, and historical writings from the region suggest that the honey was ready to be harvested by the end of the month. Additionally, the name honeymoon may refer to June’s reputation as a popular month for weddings.
This full moon corresponds to the Hindu festival Vat Purnima, a celebration where married women tie a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree and fast to pray that their spouses live long.
For Buddhists, this moon is the Poson Poya moon, named after the festival celebrating the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka in 236 BC.
There will be six more full moons in 2022, according to the Old Farmers’ Almanac:
- July 13: Buckmoon
- August 11: Sturgeon Moon
- September 10: Harvest Moon
- October 9: Hunter’s Moon
- November 8: Beaver Moon
- December 7: Cold Moon
These are the popularized names associated with the monthly full moons, but the meaning of each may vary among Native American tribes.
Lunar and solar eclipses
There will be another total lunar eclipse and partial solar eclipse in 2022, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Partial solar eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun but blocks only part of its light. Be sure to wear appropriate eclipse glasses to view solar eclipses safely, as sunlight can damage the eyes.
A partial solar eclipse on October 25 will be visible to those in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, India and western China. This partial solar eclipse will not be visible from North America.
A total lunar eclipse will also be on display for those in Asia, Australia, the Pacific, South America and North America on November 8 between 1:01 a.m. and 6:58 a.m., but the moon will set for those eastern regions. from North America.
Check out the remaining meteor showers that will peak in 2022:
- Southern Delta Aquariids: July 29-30
- Alpha Capricornids: July 30-31
- Perseids: August 11 to 12
- Orionids: October 20 to 21
- Southern Taurids: November 4-5
- Northern Taurids: November 11-12
- Leonids: November 17 to 18
- Geminids: December 13 to 14
- Ursids: 21 to 22 Dec.
If you live in an urban area, you might want to drive to a place that isn’t littered with city lights to get the best view.
Find an open area with a wide view of the sky. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look up. And give your eyes about 20-30 minutes – without looking at your phone or other electronics – to adjust to the darkness so the meteors are easier to spot.