Catch the full 'Strawberry Moon' rising tonight

Catch the full 'Strawberry Moon' rising tonight

According to Native American folklore, a full moon in June is called a Strawberry Moon because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during that summer month. The phenomenon is possible since the moon will be at its furthest distance from Earth. On such occasions, the moon appears bigger than it actually is. For June, the tribes referred to the full moon as the strawberry moon because June was the prime month for strawberries to be harvested.

Some people around the world, however, have a different nickname for the June full moon. And the defect in lightning, the apparent change in reflected sunlight on the moon's disk, shifts more slowly than normal. It's the opposite of the supermoon, which we see when the moon is at the point in its orbit during that is closest to Earth. "So if you've never had an opportunity to see or identify Saturn with the naked eye, just look for a reasonably bright point of light about four or five moon-widths away from the full moon itself". Saturn is now shining at magnitude 0.0, which makes it a little brighter than bluish-white Vega or a little dimmer compared with orange Arcturus.

Another reason for its brightness is due to its rings being tilted nearly at their maximum toward Earth, at an inclination of 26.5 degrees. That's actually Saturn. It's not as bright as other planets, but it actually has a bit of a golden glow, which makes it hard to identify sometimes.

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Tonight, the moon and Saturn will be separated by about 2.5 degrees. The best time to view this festive Full Moon in the DC area is Friday morning around sunrise, which is at 5:43 am. It's worth a peak if you can catch it between the clouds tonight. The full moon will be the smallest full moon of the year, which is what earned the moon the "mini" title as well. Also, in June, the full moon's position is the sky places it close to the sun's position at the time of the winter solstice.

The moon will also be the lowest full moon of the year, so while it's hanging low in the sky it may also appear to have a slight golden color to it. This point will be occupied on June 8, and that's why the moon of June 9 will appear so small. "Honey is also a term of endearment, dating at least as back as the year 1350; a corruption of hymenae, the Greek wedding songs".

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