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How to see June's Strawberry Supermoon that peaks on June 14 and will be visible for a few days says The Royal Observatory Greenwich



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June's full moon will shine bright this week with skygazers being encouraged to look out for the only Strawberry Supermoon of 2022.

A full moon occurring this month, that either becomes the last full moon of spring or the first full moon of summer is given the name Strawberry Moon and here's what makes it extra special this year.

Skygazers will be treated to a 'strawberry moon' this week. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA.
Skygazers will be treated to a 'strawberry moon' this week. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA.

What is the Strawberry Moon?

A strawberry moon is the name given to the full moon which occurs in June every year. A Strawberry Supermoon is when that full moon in June also coincides with a supermoon - which happens when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth in its orbital path - and as a result is more visible in the sky, appearing both larger and brighter.

And while the moon doesn't actually turn into anything remotely resembling a strawberry - the name comes from ancient tribes who used it as an indicator as to when wild berries were most likely to be ripe and ready to pick.

A Supermoon is happening for the first time this year.
A Supermoon is happening for the first time this year.

How often is there a Strawberry Moon?

A Strawberry Moon happens just once a year - in June - albeit full moons take place around every 30 days during the year.

The team behind educational trading card game Cards, the Universe and Everything are among those to have been studying this week's special event. Paul Mayze, managing director explained: "Today’s Strawberry Moon should be a real spectacle, being the first supermoon of the year.

"I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the sky today."

A supermoon occurs around every 30 days with different names given to the moon depending on the time of year. Photo: Stock photo.
A supermoon occurs around every 30 days with different names given to the moon depending on the time of year. Photo: Stock photo.

When can we see this year's Strawberry Supermoon?

The Strawberry Moon is expected to reach peak illumination on Tuesday afternoon. And while it sounds strange to have a full moon in daylight hours, The Royal Observatory in Greenwich says there is a very straightforward explanation. It says: "This is the exact moment when the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth, which can happen at any time of the day or night. This is known as a 'syzygy' of the Sun-Earth-Moon system."

However despite a peak daytime appearance, experts in Greenwich insist the moon will still appear full and bright tonight and for a few days after today so there will be plenty of chances to catch it and take photos.

Due to an optical illusion, says the Observatory, the moon can appear much larger when near the horizon and so experts advise for a really dramatic photograph trying to catch it just after moonrise, which is around 10pm, or moonset in the early hours of tomorrow. Learn more here.

A Buck moon rising. Photo: Glyn Moffitt
A Buck moon rising. Photo: Glyn Moffitt

When is the next full moon?

A Buck Moon will take place next. And that is expected to appear on July 13, achieving peak illumination at just after 7.30pm and therefore much later than this week's Strawberry Moon.



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