June’s Full Moon is set to rise tonight, in what is known as the Strawberry Moon. Despite its name, the Moon will retain its creamy colour – but experts believe it could be more visible than usual. The coronavirus pandemic has caused pollution levels to plummet across the planet as people have been forced to stay inside.
This has led to clearer skies as there is less smog, and experts believe this could create a perfect viewing for the Strawberry Moon.
Zoltan Toth-Czifra, founder of photography group Under Lucky Stars, said: “This year has been full of astronomical events with the supermoons over the past few months and it doesn’t end there. Tonight the rare Strawberry Moon will rise and be visible each night over this weekend.
To make sure you catch it, the moon can be seen rising tonight at around 8pm, it will then burn brightly throughout the night. Moons always rise in the east and set in the west – so follow this direction in your search.
“Unfortunately unlike its name, the moon won’t be pink in colour! But it will be a breath-taking full moon, so you may even see it cast moon shadows on the ground.
“This moon is named Strawberry Moon as a reference to the time of harvesting strawberries in North America, originally from Native American tribes who used the moon as an indicator of when the fruit would be ripe.
“In the current climate, a lower than average level of pollution combined with a good weather forecast means the view will be even clearer.
“As always, the moon will affect the Earth’s ocean, and the extra gravitational pull means we should brace ourselves for some spectacular tides worldwide.”
The name Strawberry Moon originates from North America, were native tribes associated the rising of the June Moon with the blossoming of berries.
Strawberries are native to North America, and before the 1600s Europe had never heard of the fruit.
Before strawberries were introduced to this side of the pond, the June Full Moon was known as the Rose Moon due to the blossoming of roses.
The Farmer’s Almanac said: “At this time of year, when spring turns to summer and the flowers of May begin to fade, berries burst forth from bushes.
“To the Algonquin tribes who once roamed much of North America, June was synonymous with strawberries.
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“This sweet, tangy and nutritious wild food staple was only available for a short time each year.
“So June’s full Moon naturally came to be known as the Strawberry Moon, a name that was universal to every tribe.
“In Europe where strawberries were once unknown, June’s full Moon was most commonly known as the Rose Moon.
“This was the month when fragrant gardens reached their peak, and the rose bushes exploded into bold colour, offering respite from the gray days of winter.”
According to the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Strawberry Moon will rise at 8.12pm in the UK, and will be full for up to three days.
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