This Week’s Strawberry Full Moon Will Be Bigger and Brighter Than Usual

Skywatchers in Northern California are in for a treat this week as the Strawberry Full Moon graces the evening skies. On Friday, June 21, the day after the summer solstice, the full moon will rise with several unique characteristics that make it a must-see event.

The Strawberry Full Moon, the first full moon of summer, will become officially full at 9:08 p.m. on Friday. The moon will appear full for about three days, from Thursday evening through Sunday morning.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this full moon is its unusually low position in the sky. This year’s June full moon is the lowest we’ve seen in years, reaching only 21.9 degrees above the southern horizon on Saturday morning. This low trajectory is due to its proximity to the summer solstice, when the sun is at its highest point of the year. The low path across the sky gives rise to the “Moon Illusion,” making the moon appear larger than usual.

In addition to its size, the Strawberry Full Moon is known for its vibrant color. As it travels through more of the Earth’s atmosphere, the moonlight often takes on an orange or yellow tint, making it the most colorful full moon of the year. This low, shallow path enhances the moon’s color, adding to its visual appeal.

The name “Strawberry Moon” originates from Native American Algonquin tribes and other groups such as the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples. They named it to mark the time for gathering ripened strawberries in June. Other names for this full moon include the Mead Moon, Honey Moon, and Rose Moon, reflecting various cultural traditions.

While the name might suggest a red hue, the Strawberry Moon does not typically appear red. Instead, its coloration can range from golden to orange, especially when observed near the horizon.

For those eager to witness this celestial event, the best time to view the Strawberry Full Moon will be shortly after moonrise on Friday night. So, grab a blanket, head to a good vantage point, and enjoy the beautiful spectacle of the Strawberry Full Moon lighting up the Northern California skies.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California
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