Summer Solstice and Strawberry
Full Moon June 20, 2016
Everyone's buzzing about the "Strawberry Moon"!
Here's what makes it so special:
* It's a full moon, meaning the earth lies between the sun and the moon so the complete surface of the moon is visible.
* Each month's full moon has a name and a meaning, dating back to Native Americans. June's full moon is called the Strawberry Moon because the short season during which strawberries can be harvested happens in June.
* However, strawberries aren't native in Europe. There, June's full moon is called the "Rose Moon."
* June's full moon is also called a "Honey Moon" or a "Mead Moon" because its position is low in the sky (in our hemisphere at least) and the earth's atmosphere can give it a warm tint.
* The word "honeymoon" refers to marriage's sweetness, in addition to the European custom of giving newlyweds enough mead to last them a month. But it's also interesting that June is the most popular month to get married and, as a result, many couples take their honeymoons during the month of the "Honey Moon."
* And as if this month's full moon didn't have enough nicknames already, some cultures also call it a "Hot Moon" because it's the start of the summer season.
* The Strawberry Moon for June 2014 was extremely rare because it happened on Friday the 13th. It hasn't happened on this superstitious day since 1919 and won't happen on another Friday the 13th in June until 2098!
* In fact, full moons that happen on Friday the 13th are pretty rare in general. The last one was in October 2000 (that would have been a "Full Harvest Moon" or "Full Hunter's Moon" by the way!). The next one is expected in August 2049.
There's a difference between a Blood Moon and a Strawberry Moon.
A Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse. Direct sunlight cannot illuminate the moon when the Earth eclipses the full moon. What little light that travels through our planet's atmosphere lights up the moon in a reddish or brown color during these eclipses, hence the Blood Moon.
A Strawberry Moon, on the other hand, is a sign for the harvesting of strawberries.
While certain atmospheric conditions could make it possible for the moon to be a strawberry color on any given night, it will most likely appear to be yellow. The exception would probably occur as the moon is rising over the horizon.
In the case of the Strawberry Moon, it will have the appearance of looking much larger during this full moon. This is called the Moon Illusion. While there are many possible explanations as to why this illusion appears to us, the truth is, no one really knows why it looks so large upon the horizon.