Later this month, a full strawberry moon will appear in the night sky before the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
This strawberry moon will also be a supermoon, meaning it will appear slightly larger and brighter than a normal full moon, although these differences can be hard for casual stargazers to spot.
Full moons are phases of the moon that occur approximately once a month when our natural satellite is opposite the sun and Earth is in between.
At full moon, the side facing our planet is fully illuminated and appears like a perfect circle.
In June 2022, the Full Moon will be visible on the night of June 14, just after sunset – rising in the southeast.
Technically, the moon only fills up for a moment. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, that moment will occur on June 14 at 7:52 am Eastern Time. However, the moon will not be visible in North America until later in the evening, after sunset.
Although the moon technically only fills for a moment, to most observers it appears full for about three days, centered around this time.
The traditional names given to the full moons come from a number of locations and historical periods, including Native American, colonial American, and European sources.
For example, a full moon that falls in June is often referred to by the name “strawberry moon.”
According to the Almanac, this name was used by several Native American peoples in reference to the time of year when “June-bearing” strawberries are ready for gathering.
The Strawberry Moon in 2022 has also been dubbed the “Super Moon.” This term is used to describe the moon when it is very close to its perigee — the point in its orbit where it is closest to Earth.
The distance between the moon and the earth is not constant because our natural satellite is trapped in an elliptical orbit.
While a supermoon is a non-scientific term — and there are multiple definitions — it’s often used to describe any full moon that occurs when the moon is within 90 percent of its minimum distance from Earth.
“A supermoon is about 7 percent larger and 15 percent brighter than the average full moon, but casual stargazers won’t tell at first glance: they are.”
not really obvious variations,” said astronomer Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project news week.
“But the difference in apparent size can be seen in photos: take a picture of the upcoming supermoon and compare it to another picture of a typical full moon, assuming you’re using exactly the same gear/zoom ratio. You will see the difference.” he said.
The June Strawberry Moon appears just before the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice, an astronomical event that marks the longest day of the year for that region and the beginning of astronomical summer.
The solstice is the time of year when the North Pole tilts furthest toward the sun. At the June solstice, our star takes the longest path between rising and setting, so the day it falls will have the most hours of sunshine and the shortest night of the year.
While the term “summer solstice” is often used to refer to the longest day of the year in its entirety, the event technically only occurs at a specific time, which will be June 21, 2022 at 5:14 p.m. ET .