Don’t Miss This Week’s Spectacular Strawberry Moon: A Celestial Delight

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By Lydia Amazouz Published on June 21, 2024 07:30
Don't Miss This Week's Spectacular Strawberry Moon A Celestial Delight

The Strawberry Moon of 2024 is set to captivate sky watchers across the United States on June 21. This full moon, occurring during the strawberry harvest season, promises a breathtaking display in the night sky.

Named by Native American Algonquin tribes, the Strawberry Moon is also known as the Honeymoon and the Rose Moon, reflecting various cultural traditions. This year, it coincides with the summer solstice, making it an even more special event.

What is the Strawberry Moon?

The June full moon, traditionally called the Strawberry Moon, is named after the brief strawberry harvesting season. Native American tribes in the northeastern United States used this full moon as a calendar marker for gathering ripe strawberries. This time of year was crucial for these communities as strawberries were a valuable food source. The moon is also referred to as the Honeymoon and the Rose Moon.

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Witness the Stunning Strawberry Moon Alongside the Summer Solstice This June

The term "Honeymoon" dates back to 16th-century Europe, marking the honey harvest. It was believed that the honey collected during this period was the sweetest, and it was customary for newlyweds to drink mead made from this honey during their first month of marriage, hence the term "honeymoon."

"Rose Moon" is inspired by the blooming of roses during this period, a phenomenon that adds to the romantic and aesthetic appeal of June. Additionally, some cultures associate this moon with fertility and new beginnings, symbolizing a time of growth and renewal.

Viewing Details and Timing

For those eager to witness the Strawberry Moon, the best time to view it is on June 21. According to NASA and the U.S. Naval Observatory, the moon will reach its full phase at 9:08 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (0108 UTC on June 22). In New York City, moonrise will occur at 8:49 p.m. EDT, just after sunset at 8:31 p.m. EDT. The moon will be most visible around 9:15 p.m. EDT, when it has fully ascended in the sky.

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Observers can enjoy the sight until the morning of Sunday, June 23. This year, the Strawberry Moon will be the lowest full moon of the year, reaching only 21.9 degrees above the southern horizon at 1:20 a.m. This low position often gives the moon a reddish hue, similar to the color seen during moonrise and moonset, enhancing its visual appeal.

Unique Characteristics of the 2024 Strawberry Moon

This year's Strawberry Moon is particularly special because it coincides with the summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year. This alignment occurs once every 19 to 20 years, adding to the uniqueness of the event. The full moon's low position in the sky will give it a reddish hue, enhancing its visual appeal.

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This effect, known as the "Moon Illusion," makes the moon appear larger and more vibrant. The moon will be its brightest and fullest at 9:08 p.m. ET and will continue to beam through the weekend. Skygazers should look southeast to watch the full moon rise above the horizon, where it will appear large and golden-hued.

Astronomical Events Surrounding the Strawberry Moon

The Strawberry Moon of 2024 is accompanied by several notable astronomical events. On June 20, the day before the full moon, observers in Oceania will witness a near occultation of Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius.

During this event, the nearly full moon will pass in front of Antares, creating a striking visual spectacle. Although this occultation won't be visible from North America, sky watchers can still enjoy the close proximity of the moon to Antares. This celestial alignment adds to the overall experience of viewing the Strawberry Moon.

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Upcoming Full Moons in 2024

The Strawberry Moon is just one of several full moons to look forward to in 2024. Each full moon brings its own unique characteristics and cultural significance. Here are the dates and names of the remaining full moons for the year:

  • July 21: Super Deer Moon – Known for its larger-than-usual appearance.
  • August 19: Super Sturgeon Moon – Named after the sturgeon fish, commonly caught in August.
  • September 17: Harvest Moon – The full moon closest to the autumn equinox.
  • October 17: Hunter's Moon – Signaling the time to hunt in preparation for winter.
  • November 15: Beaver Moon – When beavers begin to prepare for winter.
  • December 15: Cold Moon – The full moon of the cold winter month.
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An editor specializing in astronomy and space industry, passionate about uncovering the mysteries of the universe and the technological advances that propel space exploration.

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