Let’s face it - it’s always fun to watch a full moon when it’s low in the sky and shining brightly just above the horizon.
If you agree, you have a special treatment this month. The full moon on June 14, known as Strawberry Moon, will also be a supermoon. This means that it will look bigger and brighter than other full months.
The color of the moon
If you are unfamiliar with the term “Strawberry Moon”, you may be wondering if the moon will appear pink or strawberry colored. Unfortunately, although it will look big and bright, the moon will have its usual yellowish color when it rises on June 14.
Almanac of the Old Farmer explains that, depending on the date, the full moon of June is either the last full moon of spring or the first full moon of summer. It takes its name from Strawberry Moon from the peoples of Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota and Lakota, because this full moon appears during the time when strawberries are harvested in the northeastern United States.
Why the full moon in June is special this year
The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not circular, it is elliptical. Although the distance between the Moon and Earth varies during the month and even during the year, the average distance is about 238,855 miles, according to NASA.
Because the Moon has an elliptical orbit, there are times when it is closer to Earth than others. The point on the Moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth is called the perigee. When the moon is full when it reaches that point, it is called a supermoon because it looks 30% brighter and 14% larger than other full moons.
Interestingly, there is no official definition of how close the moon must be to the moon in order to be considered a supermoon. Astrologer Richard Nolle first used the term “supermoon” in 1979, and in his definition, Nolle explained that a full moon or new moon is a supermoon when it is at 90% of its closest point to Earth. according to EarthSky.
While the average distance from Earth to the Moon is 238,855 miles, on June 14, however, the Moon will be 222,238 miles from Earth, making it a supermoon, EarthSky explains.
How to see Strawberry Supermoon
Strawberry Supermoon will be full at 7:51 AM on June 14th, according to time and date.
However, this is not the time to look for Strawberry Supermoon. Instead, you will want to watch the moon rise above the horizon immediately after sunset. You can use The old farmer’s almanac Moonrise and Moonset Calculator to see when the moon rises in your area on June 14th - or any other time, by the way. It can be found here.
This is why you will want to see the moon rise: when the moon is low in the sky, it looks bigger and brighter than when it is high in the sky, due to what is called the “Illusion of the Moon”, Time and Date explains.
Finally, since the Illusion of the Moon appears when the Moon is down in the sky, the best place to see the Strawberry Supermoon will be somewhere with an unobstructed view of the horizon. Large fields, parking lots and other places that don’t have trees or buildings that block the horizon will be good places to see the Strawberry Supermoon at its biggest and brightest.
As you think about it, make sure you read all of our star-watching content, including: