June's full Strawberry Moon arrives with summer solstice

Updated

The start of summer is bringing a full moon along with it. Astronomy fans can look up and see the Strawberry Moon from Thursday night through Sunday morning as June's full moon rises.

June's full moon will reach peak illumination on Friday at 9:08 p.m. EDT, but it will appear full beginning on Thursday, which is the summer solstice, NASA said. The Old Farmer's Almanac details specific moonrise times for different ZIP codes across the U.S.

Lowest full moon in years

On the summer solstice, the sun appears at its highest elevation. Because full moons are opposite the sun, a full moon that happens near a summer solstice is low in the sky.

The Old Farmer's Almanac notes June's full moon is actually the lowest full moon in many years. In areas where the moon is visible, it will appear very large because it will be so low over the horizon.

"From places like Fairbanks and Rekyavik, this Full Moon won't even clear their horizon. It won't rise at all. For them, June will simply have no full Moon," the Old Farmer's Almanac says.

Why is June's full moon known as the Strawberry Moon?

Full moon names often come from seasons, historical crops and the behavior of certain animals. The "Strawberry Moon" nickname has nothing to do with the moon's color or shape this month; instead, it was historically used to mark the ripening of strawberries ready to be gathered in June, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

The full moon as it rises behind the Abbasid Bridge in Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdistan region, close to the Turkish border on June 20, 2024. / Credit: ISMAEL ADNAN/AFP via Getty Images
The full moon as it rises behind the Abbasid Bridge in Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdistan region, close to the Turkish border on June 20, 2024. / Credit: ISMAEL ADNAN/AFP via Getty Images

June's full Moon — typically either the last full moon of spring or the first of summer — also goes by several other names, too, including Berries Ripen Moon, Blooming Moon, Green Corn Moon and Hoer Moon. Other nicknames for this month's full moon include Birth Moon, Egg Laying Moon, Hatching Moon, Honey Moon and Mead Moon.

What's next for astronomy fans?

July's full moon reaches peak illumination on July 21. The full moon in July is known as the Buck Moon.

Those hoping to see another meteor shower or eclipse will have to wait till later this year. The Perseids meteor shower won't peak until August. Come Oct. 2, an annular solar eclipse will be visible in parts of South America with a partial eclipse visible in parts of South America, Antarctica, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and North America.

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