How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (2024)

Just In

Judge delays Trump’s sentencing in hush money case until September

Spotlight

  • TAYLOR NICIOLI, CNN
  • 0

The early summer season will be greeted by bright moonlight with the rise of the Strawberry Moon on the night of June 21. It's the perfect excuse to enjoy a fruity treat as a tribute to the moon.

Despite its name, June’s full moon will not look like a strawberry. But the bright orb could still turn heads Friday night with an appearance that is bigger and more colorful than the average moon.

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (1)

The full moon — which will reach the crest of its fullnessat 9:08p.m. ET Friday— comes one day after thesummer solstice, the day of the year when the sun appears the highest in the sky for the Northern Hemisphere. Since a full moon is opposite the sun, this strawberry moon will shine lower in the sky than usual, according toNASA.

Because of this “lower than average path across the sky,” the full moon could have an “orange- or amber-colored appearance, for the same reason sunsets appear orange or reddish,” said Preston Dyches, a science communicator with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in an email.

People are also reading…

Dyches said the effect is the result of the moon’s reflected light having to travel a longer distance throughout Earth’s atmosphere, scattering away most blue wavelengths (which are shorter than red wavelengths).

Native American tribes across North America gave the strawberry moon its name to mark the in-season ripeness of strawberries, according toThe Old Farmer’s Almanac.

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (2)

The moon’s low placement in the sky could also cause the orb to appear bigger than usual, according toNASA,due to an effect dubbed the moon illusion. Scientists don’t really know why this optical illusion happens, but it’s believed to be a combination of how our brain processes visual information and the moon’s size in comparison with smaller objects near the horizon, such as trees or the roofs of houses.

For optimal viewing, Dyches recommends looking when the moon is rising or setting to see the effects of the moon illusion. No equipment is needed to view a full moon, but a telescope or pair of binoculars could enhance its features, according toNASA’s Moon Viewing Guide.

“Whenever something beautiful about the natural world can be experienced from your doorstep, it’s worth a few minutes of your time,” Dyches said. “It’s rewarding to marvel at the sight of another giant world. … I like to gaze up and think of it as a place people will live and work someday.”

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (3)

How to see the ‘Summer Triangle’ in the night sky

Because the moon appears full for three days a month surrounding its peak, the strawberry moon will be visible to almost everyone worldwide. However, it will be more difficult to observe for those farther north, such as in Alaska or Denmark, where the low-traversing moon will only briefly rise above the horizon, Dyches said.

Besides the full moon, those in the Northern Hemisphere can spot the “Summer Triangle,” an arrangement of three bright stars whose presence in the sky symbolizes summertime in the north, said Dyches, who also produces the space agency’s monthly sky-watching highlights video called “What’s Up.”

To find the triangular pattern, it is easiest to look for the brightest of the three stars, Vega, which will be near the east in the sky, according to EarthSky. The second brightest, Altair, will be to the lower right, and the star Deneb, to the lower left of Vega, will finish off the sides of the triangle.

Those away from bright city lights can spot the center of the Milky Way as a “hazy band of dim clouds arching across the sky,” and the constellation Scorpius can be seen as it “points the way to the galaxy’s core,” Dyches added.

Remaining moons of 2024

There are six more full moons set to shine bright in the sky this year,according to EarthSky. Here are the remaining full moons of 2024 and their peak dates:

  • July 21: Buck moon
  • August 19: Sturgeon moon
  • September 17: Harvest moon
  • October 17: Hunter’s moon
  • November 15: Beaver moon
  • December 15: Cold moon

Meteorological events to look for in 2024—and where best to see them

Meteorological events to look for in 2024—and where best to see them

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (4)

Aug. 12, 2024: Perseids meteor shower

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (6)

Aug. 19, 2024: Supermoon

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (7)

September-October 2024: Will Comet C/2023 A3 shine bright?

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (8)

Oct. 2, 2024: Another solar eclipse

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (9)

Dec. 13, 2024: Geminid meteor shower

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (10)

All year: Increased aurora activity

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (11)

0 Comments

'); var s = document.createElement('script'); s.setAttribute('src', 'https://assets.revcontent.com/master/delivery.js'); document.body.appendChild(s); window.removeEventListener('scroll', throttledRevContent); __tnt.log('Load Rev Content'); } } }, 100); window.addEventListener('scroll', throttledRevContent); }

Be the first to know

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

How to observe a ‘moon illusion’ when the strawberry full moon peaks tonight (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 5398

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-12-23

Address: 4653 O'Kon Hill, Lake Juanstad, AR 65469

Phone: +494124489301

Job: Marketing Representative

Hobby: Reading, Ice skating, Foraging, BASE jumping, Hiking, Skateboarding, Kayaking

Introduction: My name is Cheryll Lueilwitz, I am a sparkling, clean, super, lucky, joyous, outstanding, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.