If you haven’t seen June’s Strawberry Moon yet, there’s still time to catch it just short of being full on Thursday evening. But if you won’t be able to see this month’s celestial event for whatever reason, don’t despair: There are plenty of stunning images that capture the Strawberry Moon’s beauty.
Contrary to what anyone might assume based on the name, June’s full Strawberry Moon isn’t a stunning strawberry red — but it is the most colorful the moon gets all year. During this time, Earth’s satellite takes a low, shallow path across the sky.
The fanciful Strawberry Moon name actually comes from Algonquin tribes, who saw the moon in June as a signal to begin gathering ripening wild strawberries.
NASA reports that the full moon nearest the summer solstice, which just occurred on June 21st, shines through more atmosphere than it does at other times during the year, particularly in Europe’s higher latitudes.
This year’s Strawberry Moon was especially interesting to capture photos of because it arrived during Saturn at opposition. That’s when Saturn is at its closest and brightest ever for the year, and seeing both celestial bodies in the sky at the same time is a real treat.
Twitter and Reddit proved particularly fruitful (pun intended) when it came to people all over the world sharing images of the beautiful Strawberry Moon. Wednesday’s celestial event was shared across social platforms as observers captured its wonder:
The Strawberry Moon is also called the “Honey Moon,” the “Rose Moon” or the “Mead Moon” thanks to its warm hue. And it’s not hard to see why when you look at some of these photos:
Some people also call the full Strawberry Moon the Hot Moon, since it heralds the beginning of the year’s hottest months on the northern equator.
The National Weather Service is already warning of widespread heat advisories and excessive heat watches in many parts of the country, and over the next few days, some places may see more record-breaking temperatures. So that name is rather fitting for this year’s late-June moon.
There’s nothing quite like looking up at the full, spectacular Strawberry Moon. But if you missed this month’s moon, you can still check out the Buck Moon in July, or the Sturgeon Moon in August. That one’s also going to be a blood moon, and the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
So if you missed this moon, keep watching the night sky. There are plenty of spectacular reasons to look up.