The June “Full Strawberry Moon” is nearly upon us and will grace the sky with its glowing presence long after dark on Sunday night. After the stunning “Full Blue Flower Moon” of May – which, incidentally, was the last “Blue Moon” of the decade, as covered by The Inquisitr at the time – tonight’s celestial event promises to offer stargazers a spectacle to remember.
However, you will need to stay up pretty late in order to catch the dazzling orb climb the horizon and light up the sky with its breathtaking gleam. Still, the effort will surely be worth it, as the full moon of June will be joined in the sky by a surprise guest in the form of planet Jupiter, Space is reporting.
Why Is It Called The ‘Strawberry Moon’?
Like all the other full moons in the calendar, the full moon of June goes by many names – the most popular of which is the “Full Strawberry Moon.” However, don’t expect a pink or bright-red orb to bloom in the night sky. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the “Strawberry Moon” has earned its nickname because it coincides with the peak of the strawberry season.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the moniker can be traced back to the Algonquin tribes in eastern North America, who recognized the full moon of June “as a signal to gather the ripening fruit of wild strawberries.”
The noteworthy celestial event also boasts a few old European names that identify it as the “Honey Moon,” or the “Mead Moon,” and the “Full Rose Moon.” At the same time, in the Southern Hemisphere, the full moon of June is known as the “Oak Moon,” the “Cold Moon,” or the “Long Night Moon,” notes EarthSky.
Best Times To Catch The June ‘Strawberry Moon’
Sky watchers who don’t want to miss tonight’s celestial show will have to put off going to bed early as the moonrise will only reveal itself to dedicated night owls.
In North America, the “Strawberry Moon” crests in the early hours of Monday morning and will shoot up in the sky at 4:30 a.m. ET on June 17. Observers on the West Coast will get to watch the full moon peak at 1:30 a.m. PT, says CNN.
However, when the moon does finally bloom in the night sky, it won’t be shining there alone. As Space points out, two bright specks of light will be accompanying the full moon on the dark canvas of the night, one of them being none other than the largest planet in our solar system, the gas giant Jupiter.
“The moon will be in the constellation Ophiuchus and will be framed by the planet Jupiter to its east and the bright star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) to the southeast.”
Jupiter has recently made its closest approach to Earth at the beginning of the week, when it reached opposition on June 10. At the time, space enthusiasts were treated to some memorable views of Jupiter, with the planet making its brightest appearance in the sky as Earth slid in between the gas giant and the sun on Monday. The massive planet still remains luminous enough to warrant a remarkable celestial display and will join the “Strawberry Moon” in the sky as the latter climbs the horizon later tonight.
The good news is that the full moon will remain visible in the sky until a little after sunrise on Monday morning.
“The sun rises 15 minutes before moonset in New York on June 17, so for a few minutes the full moon and the sun will both be in the sky.”
After that, the moon will sink back below the horizon at 5:39 a.m. ET, only to emerge again at 8:54 p.m. ET. This gives sky watchers plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse of the “Strawberry Moon” and take in its majestic brilliance on what promises to be a truly magical couple of nights.