Summer Solstice Brings a Once-in-a-Generation ‘Strawberry Moon’


Summer, which brings the end of the school year, barbeques, the dog days of baseball, and the like, will finally be upon us as the summer solstice officially arrives at 6:34 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 20.

The summer solstice, the official start of summer (according to the calendar, if not necessarily the weather), is the longest day of the year, and this year it is accompanied by a fairly rare event: it coincides with a so-called «strawberry moon,» the folkloric name given to June’s full moon.

What does tonight’s moon have to do with fruit? It’s not because the moon will look reddish, as many people think. Rather, according to «The Old Farmer’s Almanac,» the strawberry moon was given that name by the Algonquin tribes because it occurs right at the height of the season when strawberries are harvested. Other names for this month’s full moon are the «hot moon» and the «rose moon.»

Starwatchers will have the first chance to see a full moon on the summer solstice in nearly fifty years. The last time these two phenomena occurred together was at the beginning of 1967’s Summer of Love, and it won’t happen again until 2062.

The Farmer’s Almanac and the Slooh network of robotic telescopes are teaming up to present a livestream of the full moon that can be viewed below starting 8 p.m. EDT: