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WASHINGTON — June's full moon, the strawberry moon, will illuminate the sky this week.
The moon will appear full from Sunday moonrise to Wednesday moonset, according to NASA. It will reach its peak at 5:52 a.m. Tuesday but will not be fully visible in North America until moonrise. This year's strawberry moon is the first of two consecutive supermoons.
While there is no single definition, the term supermoon generally refers to a full moon that appears brighter and larger than other moons because it is at its closet orbit to Earth.
To a casual observer, the supermoon may appear similar in size to other moons. However, the noticeable change in brightness enhances visibility and creates a great opportunity for people to begin paying attention to the moon and its phases, said Noah Petro, chief of NASA's Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Lab.
The ideal time to look at the moon is when it is rising or setting since that's when it will appear the largest to the naked eye, said Jacqueline Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. (The Old Farmer's Almanac's calculator can help you find out what time the moon rises and sets in your location).
The best views of June's full moon in the United States will be in the southern half of the country and the Southwest. A series of weak storms will move through the Northeast and Great Lakes regions early in the week, creating cloudy conditions that will make it difficult to get a clear view, CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said.
Petro recommends that moon gazers seek out a clear horizon and avoid areas with tall buildings and thick forestry. He also urges people to stay away from bright lights if possible for maximum visibility.
The name strawberry moon is rooted in the traditions of Indigenous groups in the Northeastern U.S., including the Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota and Lakota communities that saw the celestial event as a sign that strawberries, and other fruits, were ripe and ready to be gathered. The Haida people refer to the moon as the berries ripen moon, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.
In Europe, this moon is often called the honey moon or the mead moon, and historical writings from the region suggest that honey was ready for harvest around the end of the month. Additionally, the name honey moon may refer to June's reputation as a popular month for marriages.
This full moon corresponds with the Hindu festival Vat Purnima, a celebration where married women tie a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree and fast to pray that their spouse lives a long life.
For Buddhists, this moon is the Poson Poya moon, named after the holiday celebrating the introduction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in 236 BC.
There will be six more full moons in 2022, according to the Old Farmers' Almanac:
- July 13: Buck moon
- Aug. 11: Sturgeon moon
- Sept. 10: Harvest moon
- Oct. 9: Hunter's moon
- Nov. 8: Beaver moon
- Dec. 7: Cold moon
These are the popularized names associated with the monthly full moons, but the significance of each one may vary across Native American tribes.
Lunar and solar eclipses
There will be one more total lunar eclipse and a partial solar eclipse in 2022, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.
Partial solar eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun but only blocks some of its light. Be sure to wear proper eclipse glasses to view solar eclipses safely as the sun's light can be damaging to the eye.
A partial solar eclipse on Oct. 25 will be visible to those in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northeastern Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, India and western China. This partial solar eclipse will not be visible from North America.
A total lunar eclipse will also be on display for those in Asia, Australia, the Pacific, South America and North America on Nov. 8 between 1:01 a.m. and 6:58 a.m., but the moon will be setting for those in eastern regions of North America.
Check out the remaining meteor showers that will peak in 2022:
- Southern Delta Aquariids: July 29 to 30
- Alpha Capricornids: July 30 to 31
- Perseids: Aug. 11 to 12
- Orionids: Oct.20 to 21
- Southern Taurids: Nov. 4 to 5
- Northern Taurids: Nov.11 to 12
- Leonids: Nov. 17 to 18
- Geminids: Dec. 13 to 14
- Ursids: Dec. 21 to 22
If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place that isn't littered with city lights to get the best view.
Find an open area with a wide view of the sky. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look straight up. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes — without looking at your phone or other electronics — to adjust to the darkness so the meteors will be easier to spot.