The June full moon — Strawberry moon — will be visible to the naked eye at 5.22 PM IST on June 14. The moon will be at the closest point in its orbit around Earth, making it appear like a “supermoon”. On Tuesday, the moon will come within 222,238 miles of Earth (nearly 16,000 miles closer than the average distance) and is expected to appear 10% brighter than a regular full moon.
According to NASA, a supermoon appears 17% bigger and 30% brighter than the year’s faintest moon, when it is farthest from Earth in its orbit. Supermoons are rare and occur three to four times a year, almost always consecutively.
A Strawberry moon doesn’t look like a strawberry, nor is it pink in colour. The name was given to the full moon by the Algonquin Native American tribe in northeastern US and eastern Canada. It refers to the region’s strawberry harvesting season and not the colour of the moon. The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the name Strawberry moon had been used by Ojibwe, Algonquin, Lakota, and Dakota peoples to mark the ripening of June-bearing strawberries.
The Strawberry moon will be the first of the three supermoons this summer.
LOWEST MOON OF THE YEAR
The supermoon will be the lowest full moon of 2022, rising just 23.3° above the horizon, NASA said. It will be at its lowest because the event is coming ahead of the summer solstice on June 21.
“On the summer solstice, the Sun appears highest in the sky for the year. Full moons are opposite the sun, so a full moon near the summer solstice will be low in the sky,” NASA said in a guide.
The space agency also said it would give people a chance to spot craters and mountains on the moon surface using a telescope.
WATCH THE STRAWBERRY MOON ONLINE
The Virtual Telescope Project in Ceccano, Italy, will host a free livestream of the full moon. The webcast will begin at 12.45 AM IST and show live views of the moon.
FULL MOON CALENDAR FOR 2022
The Old Farmers’ Almanac says there will be six more full moons this year:
July 13: Buck moon
August 11: Sturgeon moon
September 10: Harvest moon
October 9: Hunter’s moon
November 8: Beaver moon
December 7: Cold moon
The Strawberry moon coincides with Vat Purnima, a Hindu festival in which married women tie a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree and keep a fast for their spouses’ long lives.