So, obviously, strawberry moon = big red full moon, right? Sadly, no. The full moon of June was named by the Native American Algonquin tribe for the wild red berries that grow around the same time, so it’ll basically look the same as any other full moon but with a slightly orange tinge, according to the Farmers’ Almanac. (If you see photos of a pink-tinged moon on the web, it’s only for effect.) This year’s strawberry full moon will fall on June 5, but if you live in North America, you’ll actually have a few days to view it.
Fun fact: In Europe, where strawberries were originally unknown, June’s full moon was called the Rose Moon, named after the month when rose gardens reached their peak.
Technically, the moon will be at its fullest on June 5 at 3:12 p.m. ET, which yes, is daytime. Don’t fret: The best time to observe the full moon is at moonrise. When there’s a full moon, the moon and sun are nearly directly opposite each other, so as the sun sets in the west on the 5th, you can turn around and wait to see the moon rise in the east. When the moon is at its highest, it’s actually too bright to look at for too long, so sunset is best. (Hint, hint, enthusiastic Instagrammers.)
While you could wake up at the crack of dawn for a peek (aka when the moon sets), the most convenient time to view the strawberry full moon will be at sunset on June 5. In New York City, moonrise will happen at 8:23 p.m. ET, while sunset is at 8:31 p.m. In Los Angeles, it’s at 8:01 p.m. PT, and sunset is at 8:17 p.m. For the best view, find the exact moonrise and sunset times in your locale, and set up camp about 30 minutes before to prepare yourself for a bright, yellow-orange stunner.
And if you can’t get out on June 5, don’t worry. The moon will also look particularly bright and full on June 4 and June 6, so try to catch a glimpse then.
Hey, if we squint hard enough, maybe we’ll be able to see SpaceX too…