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Strawberry Moon 2021: What is it and how can you watch it?

Strawberry Moon Strawberry Moon
Strawberry Moon (NASA)

Strawberry Moon is also called Honey Moon or Mead Moon or Rose Moon in Europe.

June 24 is the date for an important celestial event. It is the date when people across the globe will get to witness what is popularly called the “Strawberry Moon”. It is also the date for the next full moon and the date when the last supermoon of the year 2021 will delight sky gazers and astronomers across the globe.

Now, the name ‘Strawberry Moon’ may give you the wrong idea that the full moon on June 24 will appear like strawberry, at least in colour. But that is not the case.

What is Strawberry Moon?

NASA explains that the orbit of the Moon around the Earth is almost in the same plane as the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. Now, on the summer solstice, the Sun appears highest in the sky for the year. However, full Moons are opposite to the Sun, which means that a full Moon near the summer solstice will appear lower in the sky towards the horizon. So, when the full moon is low in the sky, it shines through more atmosphere making it have a reddish colour. Hence, the name “Strawberry Moon.”

What else is it called?

But that is not the only reason it is called Strawberry Moon. In fact, it is associated with a number of legends, which gives the last full Moon in the summer solstice a host of names. According to Maine Farmer's Almanac, Algonquin tribes of northeastern United States called this the Strawberry Moon. It comes from a relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the region.

Strawberry Moon is also called Honey Moon or Mead Moon in Europe. The tradition dates back to the 1500s. The last full moon in the summer solstice is called Honey Moon or Mead Moon as June was the time when honey was ready for harvesting. Mead is a drink created by fermenting honey mixed with water and sometimes with spices and grains.

Strawberry Moon is also called the Rose Moon. This name comes from the roses that bloom this time of year. It also comes from the colour of the full moon this time of year.

How can you watch the Strawberry Moon?

Strawberry Moon will be visible in the afternoon of June 24, 2021. It will appear opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude at 2:40 PM EDT. While this will be on Thursday for much of the Earth, from India Standard Time eastward to Line Islands Time, and the International Dateline, this will be on Friday morning. The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time from early Wednesday morning through early Saturday morning.

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