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Stargazing 2017: Mini Strawberry Moon to Light Up the Sky on June 9

Jun 08, 2017 02:21 PM EDT
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A strawberry moon will rise on June 9. Coincidentally, it will also be a minimoon, a phenomenon that occurs when the moon is at its farthest from Earth.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

This month's full moon will be extra special because a mini strawberry moon will rise in the night sky. Although it is just a common full moon, the name implies something deeper and many nations until today respect and admire the rising of the strawberry moon. The strawberry moon will also appear smaller a tad bit smaller, thus the name "minimoon."

The term full strawberry moon was coined by the Native Americans. The moon does not appear any different from other full moons, but the full strawberry moon means more to the Native American tribes since it signaled the time of the year where fruits are ripening and are ready for harvest.

The strawberry moon also marks the peak of harvesting season. It is also called "full rose moon" and "full honey moon."

On Friday, June 9, the full strawberry moon will rise at approximately 9:09 a.m. ET. This is also this month's full moon peak. It will appear full even on the nights before and after the peak.

But experts advise stargazers to not be too excited to avoid disappointments. Again, there won't be anything special with how the moon will appear on June 9 nor will it shine in strawberry pink unlike the extremely large supermoon from last year. It is called by the name due to the harvesting season that coincides with the month of June.

Not only is June's full strawberry moon famous among Native American tribes, it is also known in other cultures for the same reason. It is called Green Corn Moon, the Planting Moon or the Birth Moon, all because of its link to crops and farming.

This year, the strawberry moon will also be a minimoon. This means although it will be at its peak, it will be smaller in size when viewed from Earth.

A minimoon occurs when the moon is at its farthest point from the planet called apogee. During a minimoon, it is smaller than it usually is when viewed, bur the discrepancy won't be visible to the untrained eye. Experts say that the next minimoon will appear in July 2018.

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