The Strawberry Supermoon in June

The Strawberry Supermoon in June

Harvest moon.jpg

Something to look forward to this month is the supermoon on the 23rd June. A supermoon is when the moon is full and at it's closest to the Earth on its orbital path. This is termed the lunar perigee. At this time the moon is 12% larger than when it is at it's furthest from our planet. At perigee the moon is spanning 33 arcminutes of sky. You can see the size difference in the image below. 

Lunar perigee apogee.png

 Image by : Tomruen

The Moon Illusion

What will make this full moon even more special to see is that it will be quite low in the sky. When a moon is low in the sky it appears much bigger than when it is high in the sky. The moon itself hasn't changed size, but by adding the horizon to your view of the moon the brain misinterprets the size giving the appearance of a much bigger moon. This is known as the moon illusion. The funny thing is that when the moon is closer to the horizon it is actually 1.5% smaller. This is because a moon directly overhead is closer to you in terms of actual distance than one near the horizon.

Why a Strawberry Moon?

A full moon in June is known as a full strawberry moon due to the short harvest season for strawberries that occurs in June.

Find more on: Observing the Night Sky

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