Are you as excited as us about seeing a pink moon this June? On June 14, 2022 (Tuesday), we will be witnessing the Strawberry Full Moon. It coincides with the summer solstice, which is either on June 20, 21, or 22. The ripening of wild strawberries around this time of early summer is what gives June’s Full Moon its name. The ripening of wild strawberries (gathered by Native Americans) around this time of early summer is what gives June’s Full Moon its name.
It even has Celtic names: Horse Moon, Dyan Moon, and Rose Moon. Other English names are Flower Moon and Planting Moon. Sources suggest Mead Moon as its Anglo-Saxon name because this was the time for mowing the meads, or meadows.
On this day, the moon will be near its closest approach toward the Earth, making it a Supermoon. It will be followed by another Supermoon on July 13, 2022, known as the Super Buck Moon.
So many names! What is Supermoon? Does it have super powers? Well, we all know that the moon’s orbit is elliptical. So, the distance between the Earth and the moon is not always the same. The furthest point is called the apogee, whereas the closest is the perigee. “Supermoon” refers to the slightly enlarged appearance of the moon whenever it is closer to us than usual. Supermoons can be as much as 30% brighter than typical full moons, which is why they seem so majestic.
If you wish to see this beautiful phenomenon unfold, run to your nearest terrace Tuesday, June 14, just after sunset. You can try looking towards the southeast to watch the full moon rise gently above the horizon. The full moon will reach its peak illumination at around 7:52 am. There, it will appear large and golden-hued.
The strawberry moon will get its reddish or rose colour because it will rise above the horizon and get the colour of the rising sun. Just like life, the moon also seems to change in colour and appearance based on where we stand when we look at it. Atmospheric changes, the moon’s position in the sky, pollution or the seasonal tilt of the Earth may also play important roles in how we see the moon.
Taking time out for yourself and for nature is also a great exercise in arts! Besides the why’s and how’s, one must appreciate and ponder over the beauty and majesty of the universe around us. A lot of these phenomena are discussed in the school syllabi, but experiential activities like stargazing catalyses and transcends theory into reality. Now that we know the why’s and how’s, it might be a great idea to wake up early on a Tuesday and experience first-hand the properties of light and reflection!