Don’t Miss: The Strawberry Supermoon

Artist’s concept of a “strawberry” supermoon.

The Next Full Moon is the Strawberry Supermoon; the Mead, Honey, or Rose Moon; the Flower, Hot, Hoe, or Planting Moon; Vat Purnima; Poson Poya; and the LRO Moon.

Many cultures going far back in history have different names for the twelve full moons experienced each year. Often the names of the full moons sound literally colorful, such as the name “Strawberry Supermoon,” where it is easy to imagine something like in the artist’s concept above.

However, the names usually aren’t based on a color, but instead are often names for an activity that takes place at that time of year. For example, the name “Strawberry Moon” comes from the Native American Algonquin tribes that live in what is now the northeastern United States and the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the region.

This Strawberry Moon is a special treat because it isn’t an ordinary full moon, but a supermoon. This happens when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth, presenting us with a larger, brighter full moon.

The next full moon will be Tuesday morning, June 14, 2022, appearing opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude at 7:52 am EDT. This will be late Monday night for the International Date Line West time zone, Tuesday for many of the time zones on Earth, and Wednesday morning from the Chatham Standard Time zone eastward to the International Date Line. The Moon will appear full for about three days centered on this time, from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning.

Moon Rising NASA Artemis SLS Rocket

The Moon is seen rising behind NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard atop a mobile launcher as it rolls out to Launch Complex 39B for the first time, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida . Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

One Moon, Many Names

In the 1930s the Maine Farmer’s Almanac began publishing Native American names for full moons. According to this Almanac, the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northeastern United States called this the Strawberry Moon. The name comes from the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the region.

An old European name for this full moon is the Mead or Honey Moon. Mead is a drink created by fermenting honey mixed with water and sometimes with fruits, spices, grains, or hops. In some countries, Mead is also called Honey Wine (though in others Honey Wine is made differently). Some writings suggest that the time around the end of June was when honey was ready for harvesting, which made this the “sweetest” Moon. The word “honeymoon” traces back to at least the 1500s in Europe. The tradition of calling the first month of marriage the “honeymoon” may be tied to this full moon because of the custom of marrying in June or because the “Honey Moon” is the “sweetest” Moon of the year. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence to support a 19th-century theory that the word entered English from the custom of gifting newlyweds mead for their first month of marriage.

The term “supermoon” was coined by the astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to either a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth.

What is a Supermoon?

Another European name for this full moon is the Rose Moon. Some sources indicate the name “Rose Moon” comes from the roses that bloom this time of year. Others indicate that the name comes from the color of the full moon. The orbit of the Moon around the Earth is almost in the same plane as the orbit of the Earth around the Sun (only about 5 degrees off). On the summer solstice, the Sun appears highest in the sky for the year. Full moons are opposite the Sun, so a full moon near the summer solstice will be low in the sky. Particularly for Europe’s higher latitudes, when the full moon is low, it shines through more atmosphere, making it more likely to have a reddish color (for the same reasons that sunrises and sunsets are red). For the Washington, DC area, at 1:56 am EDT on the morning of June 15, 2022, the full moon at its highest will reach only 23.3 degrees above the southern horizon, the lowest full moon of the year.

Other seasonal names for this full moon that I have found mentioned in various sources (sometimes with conflicting information about whether they are of European or Native American origin) are the Flower Moon, Hot Moon, Hoe Moon, and Planting Moon.

For Hindus, this is Vat Purnima. During the three days of this full moon, married women will show their love for their husbands by tying a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree. The celebration is based on the legend of Savitri and Satyavan.

For Buddhists, this is Poson Poya. The Poson holiday in Sri Lanka celebrates the introduction of Buddhism in 236 BCE.

Another tribe has also given a name to this full moon. This tribe is now scattered but mostly lived in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. This tribe’s language is primarily English, but with a liberal smattering of acronyms, arcane scientific and engineering terms, and Hawaiian phrases (cheerfully contributed by the former Deputy Project Manager). Comprised of people from all backgrounds, many of whom have gone on to join other tribes, this tribe was devoted to the study of the Moon. This tribe calls June’s full moon the LRO Moon, in honor of the spacecraft they launched toward the Moon on June 18, 2009. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still orbiting the Moon providing insights about our nearest celestial neighbour, some of which help us understand our own planet.

The Strawberry Supermoon

This will be a supermoon. The term “supermoon” was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to either a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth. Since we can’t see a new Moon (except when it passes in front of the Sun), what has caught the public’s attention in recent decades are full supermoons, as these are the biggest and brightest full moons of the year. Since perigee varies with each orbit, different publications use different thresholds for deciding which full moons qualify as a supermoon, but all agree that in 2022 the full moons in June and July both qualify.

The Moon and Calendars

In many traditional lunar and lunar calendars, full moons fall near the middle of the lunar months. This full moon is in the middle of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar, Sivan in the Hebrew calendar, and Dhu al-Qadah in the Islamic calendar (one of the four sacred months during which warfare is prohibited).

As usual, the wearing of suitably celebratory celestial attire is encouraged in honor of the full Moon.

Here is a summary of celestial events between now and the full Moon after next (with times and angles based on the location of[{” attribute=””>NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.):

As spring ends and summer begins, the daily periods of sunlight reach their longest on the solstice and begin shortening again. The solar days (as measured, for example, from solar noon to solar noon on a sundial) are longer than 24 hours near the solstices, so the earliest sunrises of the year occur before the summer solstice and the latest sunsets of the year occur after the solstice.

This year, Monday and Tuesday, June 13 and 14, 2022, are tied for the earliest sunrises of the year, with sunrise at 5:42:11 a.m. EDT and morning twilight starting at 4:30 a.m. On Tuesday, June 14 (the day of the full moon), morning twilight will begin at 4:30 a.m., sunrise will be one of these earliest sunrises at 5:42 a.m., solar noon will be at 1:08:24 p.m. when the Sun will reach its maximum altitude of 74.41 degrees, sunset will be at 8:35 p.m., and evening twilight will end at 9:47 p.m.

The summer solstice will be on Tuesday morning, June 21, at 5:13 a.m. On the day of the solstice, morning twilight will begin at 4:31 a.m., sunrise will be at 5:43 a.m., solar noon will be at 1:09:49 p.m. when the Sun reaches its highest for the year at 74.56 degrees, sunset will be at 8:37 p.m. (making this the longest period from sunrise to sunset, 14 hours, 53 minutes, 42.1 seconds), and evening twilight will end at 9:49 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, June 27 and 28, are tied for the latest sunsets of the year, with sunset at 8:37:29 p.m. By Wednesday, July 13 (the day of the full moon after next), morning twilight will begin at 4:43 a.m., sunrise will be at 5:54 a.m., solar noon will be at 1:13:53 p.m. when the Sun will reach its maximum altitude of 72.87 degrees, sunset will be at 8:34 p.m., and evening twilight will end at 9:44 p.m.

Evening Sky Highlights

On the evening of Tuesday, June 14, 2022, (the day of the full moon) as evening twilight ends at 9:47 p.m. EDT, the rising full moon will appear 3 degrees above the southeastern horizon. The bright star appearing closest to overhead will be Arcturus at 70 degrees above the southern horizon. Arcturus, the 4th brightest star in our night sky, is about 37 light-years from Earth and nearly the same mass as our Sun, but older. Arcturus has used up its core hydrogen and become a red giant, swelling to about 25 times its previous size and shining about 170 times brighter than the Sun. Our Sun is about halfway through this lifecycle and is expected to become a red giant in about 5 billion years.

As the lunar cycle progresses the background of stars will appear to shift westward each evening (although it is actually the Earth that is moving around the Sun toward the East). The waxing Moon will pass near the bright stars Pollux on June 30, Regulus on July 2 and 3, Spica on July 7, and Antares on July 10, 2022.

By the evening of Wednesday, July 13, 2022, as evening twilight ends (at 9:44 p.m. EDT), the full moon will appear 5 degrees above the southeastern horizon. Two bright stars will be tied for closest to overhead, with Vega 60 degrees above the east-northeastern horizon and Arcturus 59 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon. Vega, the 5th brightest star in our night sky, is about 25 light-years from Earth. Vega is about twice the mass of our Sun but shines 40 times brighter.

Morning Sky Highlights

On the morning of Tuesday, June 14, 2022, (the day of the full moon), as morning twilight begins (at 4:30 a.m. EDT), four of the five visible planets will appear in a line above the east-southeastern horizon, with

As the lunar cycle progresses, the background of stars along with Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars will appear to shift westward each morning, although Mars will appear to shift more slowly. Venus will appear to shift the opposite way, closer to the eastern horizon each morning. For a few days around June 25 the planet Mercury will appear slightly above the east-northeastern horizon at the time morning twilight begins, so mornings in late June should be a good time to look for the visible planets in the sky lined up in order of their distance from the Sun. The waning Moon will pass near the planets Saturn on June 18, Jupiter on June 21, Mars on June 22 and 23, Venus on June 26, and Mercury on June 27, 2022.

By the morning of Wednesday, July 13, 2022, (the day of the full moon after next), as morning twilight begins (at 4:43 a.m. EDT), four of the five visible planets will appear in a line across the sky, with Saturn to the upper right at 34 degrees above the south-southwestern horizon, Jupiter at 48 degrees above the southeastern horizon, Mars at 39 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon, and Venus to the lower left at 7 degrees above the east-northeastern horizon. Mercury will no longer be visible in the glow of dawn, as it will rise less than 30 minutes before sunrise. The full moon will appear 4 degrees above the southwestern horizon. Deneb will still be the bright star appearing closest to overhead at 64 degrees above the west-northwestern horizon.

Detailed Daily Guide

Here is a more detailed, day-by-day listing of celestial events between now and the full moon after next. The times and angles are based on the location of NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and some of these details may differ for your location.

June 9-10

On Thursday night into early Friday morning, June 9 to 10, 2022, the bright star Spica will appear about 7 degrees to the lower left of the waxing gibbous moon. The Moon will appear about 45 degrees above the south-southwestern horizon as evening twilight ends (at 9:44 p.m. EDT). Spica will set first below the west-southwestern horizon about 5 hours later (on Friday morning at 2:46 a.m.).

June 12-13

On Sunday night into Monday morning, June 12 to 13, 2022, the bright star Antares will appear about 8 degrees to the lower left of the nearly full waxing gibbous moon. The Moon will appear about 23 degrees above the south-southeastern horizon as evening twilight ends (at 9:46 p.m. EDT). The Moon will reach its highest in the sky for the night 2 hours later at 11:46 p.m. By the time morning twilight begins Monday morning at 4:30 a.m., Antares will appear to the left of the Moon and the pair will be about 10 minutes from setting on the west-southwestern horizon. By Monday evening, as evening twilight ends, the Moon will have shifted to the other side of Antares. Antares will appear 8 degrees to the upper right of the Moon and the pair will separate as Monday night progresses.

June 13-14

For the Washington, D.C. area (and similar latitudes), the mornings of Monday and Tuesday, June 13 and 14, 2022, are tied for the earliest sunrise of the year. For the location of NASA Headquarters, morning twilight will start at 4:30 a.m. EDT and sunrise will be at 5:42:11 a.m. While the summer solstice is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight, the solar days near the solstice are longer than 24 hours, so the earliest sunrises of the year occur before and the latest sunsets occur after the summer solstice.

June 14: Next Full Moon

As mentioned above, the next full moon will be Tuesday morning, June 14, 2022, at 7:52 a.m. EDT. Less than 12 hours later, at 7:24 p.m., the Moon will be at perigee, its closest to the Earth for this orbit. This full moon is near enough to perigee to be a supermoon.

With the Moon appearing full from Sunday night through Wednesday morning, the full moon on Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, June 14 to 15, 2022, will be the lowest full moon of the year, reaching only 23.3 degrees above the horizon Wednesday morning at 1:56 a.m. EDT.

June 16

Thursday morning, June 16, 2022, will be when the planet Mercury reaches its greatest angular separation from the Sun as seen from the Earth for this apparition (called greatest elongation), appearing half-lit through a large enough telescope. Because the angle of the line between the Sun and Mercury and the horizon changes with the seasons, the date when Mercury and the Sun appear farthest apart as seen from the Earth is not the same as when Mercury appears highest above the horizon before sunrise, which occurs 9 mornings later on June 25.

Our 24-hour day is based on the average length of a day throughout the year, but the actual length of a solar day varies (as measured for example from solar noon to solar noon) throughout the year. The period from solar noon on Saturday, June 18 to solar noon on Sunday, June 19, 2022, will be the longest solar day of this half of the year, a little over 13 seconds longer than 24 hours. This will not be the longest solar day of the year, as the solar days from November 17, 2022, to January 25, 2023, will be longer.

June 18

On Saturday morning, June 18, 2022, the planet Saturn will appear about 8 degrees to the upper left of the waning gibbous moon. The Moon will rise above the east-southeastern horizon around midnight (12:04 a.m. EDT) and morning twilight will begin around 4:30 a.m.

June 20

Monday, June 20, 2022, the waning Moon will appear half-full as it reaches its last quarter at 11:11 p.m. EDT when the Moon will be below the horizon.

June 21: Summer Solstice

On Tuesday morning, June 21, 2022, the bright planet Jupiter will appear about 6 degrees to the upper left of the waning half Moon. The Moon will rise above the eastern horizon after midnight at 1:32 a.m. EDT, and morning twilight will begin around 4:30 a.m.

Tuesday at 5:13 a.m. EDT will be the summer solstice, the astronomical end of spring, and the beginning of summer. On the day of the solstice, morning twilight will begin at 4:31 a.m., sunrise will be at 5:43 a.m., solar noon will be at 1:09:49 p.m. when the Sun will reach its highest for the year at 74.56 degrees, sunset will be at 8:37 p.m. (making this the longest period from sunrise to sunset, 14 hours, 53 minutes, 42.1 seconds), and evening twilight will end at 9:49 p.m.

June 22

Wednesday morning, June 22, 2022, the waning crescent moon will appear between the planets Jupiter and Mars. Mars will rise last above the eastern horizon well after midnight at 1:56 a.m. EDT, and the Moon will be 29 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon as morning twilight begins at 4:31 a.m.

June 23

On Thursday morning, June 23, 2022, the planet Mars will appear about 6 degrees to the upper right of the waning crescent Moon. The Moon will rise above the eastern horizon well after midnight at 2:19 a.m. EDT, and it will be 24 degrees above the eastern horizon as morning twilight begins at 4:31 a.m.

June 25

As twilight begins Saturday morning, June 25, 2022, the planet Mercury will barely clear the east-northeastern horizon, but this will be its highest for this apparition. Since Mercury will be bright enough to be visible as it rises even after morning twilight begins, mornings in late June should be a good time to look for all five of the visible planets lined up in the sky in order of their distance from the Sun (with one more planet visible beneath your feet).

June 16

On Sunday morning, June 26, 2022, the bright planet Venus will appear about 5 degrees to the right of the thin, waning crescent moon. Venus will rise above the east-northeastern horizon at 3:50 a.m. EDT, less than an hour before morning twilight begins, and it will be 7 degrees above the horizon when morning twilight begins at 4:32 a.m.

June 27

Monday morning, June 27, 2022, the planet Mercury will rise above the east-northeastern horizon about 4 degrees to the lower right of the thin, waning crescent Moon, just as morning twilight begins at 4:31 a.m. EDT. You might be able to see this pair low on the horizon before the sky becomes too bright with the dawn.

For the Washington, D.C .area and similar latitudes, Monday and Tuesday, June 27 and 28, 2022, are tied for the latest sunset of the year, with sunset at 8:37:29 p.m. EDT.

June 28

Tuesday evening, June 28, 2022, at 10:52 p.m. EDT, will be the new moon, when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from the Earth.

June 29

Wednesday morning, June 29, 2022, at 2:09 a.m. EDT, the Moon will be at apogee, its farthest from the Earth for this orbit.

The day of, or the day after, the new moon marks the start of the new month for most lunisolar calendars. The sixth month of the Chinese calendar starts on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 (at midnight in China’s time zone, which is 12 hours ahead of EDT). Sundown on Wednesday, June 29, marks the start of Tammuz in the Hebrew calendar.

In the Islamic lunar calendar, the months traditionally start with the first sighting of the waxing crescent Moon. Many Muslim communities now follow the Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia, which uses astronomical calculations to start months in a more predictable way. Using this calendar, sundown on Wednesday evening, June 29, 2022, will probably mark the beginning of Dhu al-Hijjah, although this is one of four months for which the calendar dates are often adjusted by the religious authorities of Saudi Arabia after actual sightings of the lunar crescent. Dhu al-Hijjah is the twelfth and final month of the Islamic year. It is one of the four sacred months during which fighting is forbidden. Dhu al-Hijjah is the month of the Hajj and the Festival of the Sacrifice. Making the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

June 30

On Thursday evening, June 30, 2022, as twilight ends t 9:49 p.m. EDT, you might be able to see the bright star Pollux about 8 degrees to the right of the thin, waxing crescent Moon, which will be 2 degrees above the northwestern horizon, setting less than 15 minutes later.

July 2

On Saturday evening, July 2, 2022, the bright star Regulus will appear about 8 degrees to the left of the thin, waxing crescent moon. The Moon will be 16 degrees above the west-northwestern horizon as evening twilight ends at 9:49 p.m. EDT, and Regulus will set first less than 1.5 hours later at 11:15 p.m.

July 3

On Sunday evening, July 3, 2022, the bright star Regulus will appear about 8 degrees to the lower right of the thin, waxing crescent Moon. The Moon will be 22 degrees above the western horizon as evening twilight ends at 9:49 p.m. EDT, and Regulus will set first less than 1.5 hours later at 11:11 p.m.

July 4: Independence Day

Monday morning, July 4, 2022, at 3:10 a.m. EDT, the Earth will be at aphelion, its farthest away from the Sun in its orbit, 3.4% farther away than it was at perihelion in early January. Since the intensity of light changes as the square of the distance, sunlight reaching the Earth at aphelion is about 6.5% less bright than sunlight reaching the Earth at perihelion.

July 6

On Wednesday, July 6, 2022, the Moon will appear half-full as it reaches its first quarter at 10:14 p.m. EDT (when the Moon will be 29 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon).

July 7-8

On Thursday evening into early Friday morning, July 7 to 8, 2022, the bright star Spica will appear about 5 degrees to the lower right of the waxing gibbous moon. The Moon will be 34 degrees above the southwestern horizon as evening twilight ends at 9:47 p.m. EDT, and Spica will set first below the west-southwestern horizon after midnight at 12:56 a.m.

July 10-11

On Sunday evening into Monday morning, July 10 to 11, 2022, the bright star Antares will appear about 4 degrees to the lower right of the waxing gibbous moon. The Moon will be 26 degrees above the east-northeastern horizon as evening twilight ends at 9:46 p.m. EDT, will reach its highest in the sky for the night about 40 minutes later at 10:28 p.m., and Antares will set first below the west-southwestern horizon a little more than 4 hours after that at 2:51 a.m.

Monday morning, July 11, 2022, is likely the last morning that Mercury might be visible in the glow of dawn for this apparition, as it will rise above the east-northeastern horizon at 5:20 a.m. EDT, just 32 minutes before sunrise at 5:52 a.m.

July 13: The Full Moon After Next

Wednesday morning, July 13, 2022, at 5:06 a.m. EDT, the Moon will be at perigee, its closest to the Earth for this orbit.

The full moon after next will be Wednesday afternoon, July 13, 2022, at 2:38 p.m. EDT. Since this is less than 10 hours after perigee, this too will be a supermoon. The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from early Tuesday morning through early Friday morning.