June 09th will be coming with a once-in-a-year cosmic event, namely the “Strawberry Moon”, also known as a “minimoon”. This means that, as opposed to the more commonly seen supermoons, Earth’s natural satellite will seem slightly smaller than normal.
June 09’s full moon is both the smallest and the lowest such event throughout the year. Besides appearing to be smaller and dimmer than a usual such event, it will also rise only about one-third of the way up in the sky.
The micro or minimoon occurs as the natural satellite is at apogee. This means that the moon reached the farthest point to Earth on its moon. Supermoons happen as the satellite is at its perigee. During such moments, the moon is at the closest point in its orbit to our planet.
For comparison, the moon is usually situated some 240,000 miles away from Earth. During its perigee, it gets to within about 220,000 miles of the planet. At the apogee, it distances itself to around 250,000 miles, all according to NASA.
The Strawberry Moon and its Name Source
June’s full moon is the only such event throughout the calendar year in which the Moon will appear smaller than normal. Besides its cosmic value, the phenomenon also received various names. Ancient or native people coined most of them.
For example, the Strawberry Moon title originates from the indigenous people of northeastern U.S. They chose this name as June also marks the period of the year in which wild strawberries ripen in their region. As this event differs according to location, this full moon is also known as the “Rose Moon”, for similar reasons.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it could also be called the “Honey Moon”. But this is because it may appear to have an amber tint.
The Strawberry Moon will reach its fullest phase on June 09, at 1309 GMT or 9:09 a.m. EDT. To make the most of this cosmic event, sky gazers should consult a moonrise and moonset calculator.
The moon will already be below the horizon for night watchers in continental U.S. during its peak period. But people in some parts of Alaska and early risers in Hawaii should be able to enjoy the minimoon to the full. Sky gazers in continental U.S. can best see this moon on the evening before and after it reaches its fullest phase. The next minimoon will be observable on June 27, 2018.
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