For many, pending clear skies, the celestial spectacle will be visible from the comfort of home.
The Strawberry supermoon will reach peak illumination at 2:40 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 24, and visibility will be optimal in the southeastern skies just after sunset, reports The Old Farmer’s Almanac. As it peaks above the horizon, the supermoon will appear larger than usual and golden hued.
A full moon is considered a supermoon when it coincides with its closest point to Earth (called its perigee) on its elliptical orbit. It will appear as much as 7 percent bigger, and brighter than a regular full moon, though the naked eye might not notice the difference. The moon will appear full until early Saturday morning, giving lunar enthusiasts multiple chances to catch the spectacle.
“Strawberry Moon” is a name that originates from the Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples, and marks the ripening and gathering of strawberries in North America in the month of June. Typically the last full moon of spring, the Strawberry Moon was also deemed the “Berries Ripen Moon” by the Haida indigenous people of British Columbia.
Amidst ripe fruit and blooming flowers, the name connotes the abundance occurring during this month.
Other tribal names for June’s full moon allude to the birth of animal young in springtime, such as the Tlingit people’s “Birth Moon,” and the Cree people’s “Egg Laying Moon” and “Hatching Moon.”
In Europe, the Strawberry Moon was also known as the Honey Moon and the Mead Moon, perhaps connoting to the celebration of marriages which traditionally occurred in June.
For anyone unable to witness the Strawberry supermoon from an outdoor vantage point, Virtual Telescope Project will be livestreaming the event—as seen over Rome—from 3:00 p.m. ET on June 24.