Some may prefer to say "rose moon" or "honeymoon" rather than "strawberry moon." This Sunday, June 4 at 5:43 am precisely, the next "full moon", the last before the beginning of summer, will illuminate the sky.
But it is not because it is nicknamed "the strawberry moon" that the star should be covered with a spotted red mantle. The moon should rather, like all the others of the year, be white, golden or appear a little pink thanks to the phenomenon of "Rayleigh scattering". This visual effect occurs when the moon is very low on the horizon, when its light spectrum pierces a thicker atmospheric layer that allows only the orange-red wavelengths to pass through. Either the same process as at sunset.
If you missed the Strawberry Full Moon tonight, it's for you:) pic.twitter.com/529Asmwman
— Cielmania (@cielmania) June 17, 2019
So why is this full moon called "the full strawberry moon", as NASA officially does on its website? Simply because in the United States, and especially among the ancient Native Americans, it is the strawberry harvest period just before summer. The arrival of the "Strawberry Moon" is therefore good news on the American side.
384,000 km from Earth...
But all over the world, this June full moon has a different name. There are traces as early as 1,500 in Europe of the "full honeymoon", again, due to the honey harvest at this time of year. This is what also gave its name to "the honeymoon" the day after weddings, because it is considered "the sweetest" of full moons, but also because there are simply more weddings in June.
It can also be called "moon of roses". This name "would come, according to some sources, from the roses that bloom at this time of year, others indicate that the name comes from the color of the full moon," says NASA on its website. If it takes place this Sunday, Mother's Day, it is also, according to tradition, supposed to bring joy and prosperity to those who will observe it.
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This year, the "strawberry full moon" should not be a "supermoon", the celestial event that occurs when the moon is less than 90% of its perigee, that is to say as close as possible to the Earth, which generally makes it much larger and brighter. At these times, the moon is nearly 357,000 km from Earth. This Sunday, June 4, and like the rest of the days of the year, the "full strawberry moon" will be just as visible, even 384,000 km from us.