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Strawberry Moon and Summer Solstice 2024: What You Should Know

strawberry moon
The Strawberry Moon, a term popularized by the Maine Farmer's Almanac in the 1930s, reflects the brief strawberry harvesting season in the northeastern United States.

The upcoming full Moon, known as the Strawberry Moon, will grace the night sky on Friday evening, June 21, 2024, coinciding with the summer solstice. This celestial event, filled with cultural and historical significance, promises to be a spectacular sight. Here’s everything you need to know about the Strawberry Moon and the summer solstice.

The Strawberry Moon and Its Many Names

The Strawberry Moon, a term popularized by the Maine Farmer’s Almanac in the 1930s, reflects the brief strawberry harvesting season in the northeastern United States. However, this full Moon is known by various names across different cultures and traditions.

Other Names for the June Full Moon

  • Flower Moon, Hot Moon, Hoe Moon, Planting Moon: These names are derived from the agricultural activities and seasonal changes associated with June.
  • Mead or Honey Moon: In Europe, this name originates from the time when honey was harvested, creating mead, a fermented honey drink. The term “honeymoon” is believed to be linked to this sweet Moon and the tradition of June weddings.
  • Rose Moon: This name is either from the roses that bloom in June or the reddish hue the Moon can take when low in the sky due to atmospheric conditions.

Cultural and Religious Significance

Vat Purnima

For Hindus, this full Moon marks Vat Purnima. Over three days, married women tie a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree to show their love for their husbands, inspired by the legend of Savitri and Satyavan.

Poson Poya

In Sri Lanka, Buddhists celebrate Poson Poya, commemorating the introduction of Buddhism in 236 BCE. This holiday is a significant spiritual event in the Buddhist calendar.

LRO Moon

The June full Moon is also known as the LRO Moon, named after NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched on June 18, 2009. This spacecraft continues to provide valuable data about the Moon, contributing to our understanding of Earth’s closest celestial neighbor.

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The Summer Solstice

The summer solstice, occurring on June 21, 2024, marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

In Washington, DC, morning twilight begins at 4:30 AM, with sunrise at 5:43 AM. Solar noon will occur at 1:10 PM, with the Sun reaching its highest point at 74.6 degrees. Sunset will be at 8:37 PM, and evening twilight will end at 9:49 PM, making the day just 1.2 seconds shorter than the previous day.

Daylight Changes Post-Solstice

After the solstice, days gradually become shorter. Notably, the latest sunset in Washington, DC, will occur on June 27 at 8:37:30 PM. By the next full Moon on July 21, morning twilight will start at 4:52 AM, sunrise at 6:00 AM, solar noon at 1:15 PM, sunset at 8:28 PM, and evening twilight will end at 9:37 PM.

Additional Celestial Events

Comet 13P/Olbers

In early July, comet 13P/Olbers will peak at a magnitude of 7.5, making it too dim to see without a telescope.

Meteor Showers

Two meteor showers will peak during this lunar cycle. The June Bootids on June 27 will be difficult to see due to the full Moon, and the July Pegasids on July 10 are expected to show only about three meteors per hour under ideal conditions.

Enjoying the Celestial Show

In honor of this “sweetest” Moon of the year, enjoy strawberries, flowers, and honey, and observe the low arc of the full Moon in the sky. Celebratory celestial attire is encouraged to make the most of this astronomical event.

As summer begins and the days slowly shorten, the combination of the Strawberry Moon and the summer solstice offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and celebrate the eternal cycles of the heavens.





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