The night sky is going to witness the Strawberry moon today, Thursday, 24 June. The moon gets its name from the Algonquin tribes who used to harvest strawberries around this time of the year. The Strawberry moon is going to be the third and the last full moon of the year. it will also be the first full moon after the Summer Solstice on Monday, 21 June.
While for most of the world, the Strawberry moon will take place on Thursday night, in some countries like India, it will occur on Friday morning. The moon will also appear full for about three days around this time, starting from early Wednesday morning to early Saturday morning, reports NASA.
The full moon will be visible from Friday, 12:10 am IST (Thursday, 2:40 p.m. EDT).
For those who cannot experience this in real-time, the founder of the Virtual Telescope Project Gianluca Masi said they will be live streaming the Strawberry moon as well. The stream will begin on Thursday, 24 June 3:00 pm EDT (Friday, 25 June at 12:30 am in India). Since people in India will not be able to watch this phenomenon in real-time, you can watch it here.
If you are lucky to live on a continent that will experience this celestial event during the night, you can grab a telescope or binoculars and do some moon-watching on your own.
The strawberry moon is known by many other names like the egg-laying moon, the honeymoon, the birth moon, the mead moon, the hatching moon, the blooming moon or the green corn moon. However, the colour of the moon does not match its name.
According to a NASA report, Hindus consider this full Moon as Vat Purnima. During these three days, married women show their love for their husbands by tying a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree which is based on the legend of Savitri and Satyavan.
For Buddhists, this full Moon is the Poson Poya and the Poson holiday in Sri Lanka celebrates the introduction of Buddhism in 236 BCE.
"For 2021, some publications consider the four full Moons from March to June, some the three full Moons from April to June, and some only the two full Moons in April and May as supermoons," said NASA program executive Gordon Johnston.
A moon is considered to be a supermoon when it is at its closest point to the Earth in its orbit. A supermoon appears larger and brighter than a regular full moon. Supermoons have become popular over the last few decades and in a typical year, there can be around two to four full supermoons in a row and two to four new supermoons in a row.
Although the 24 June supermoon will be the last one this year, there will be many other phenomena to watch out for this year. The next full moon will be on 24 July and is called Buck Moon. On 22 August, the last full moon of the season known as Sturgeon Moon will be in the night sky. Right before the equinox when the day and night will be of equal length on 22 September, the Harvest Moon can be seen on 20 September.