Astronomy nerds and crystal enthusiasts alike are gearing up for the only Strawberry Moon of the year. Also known as the "Hot Moon," "Honey Moon," or "Mead Moon" the celestial phenomenon only comes once annually, which means we're hastily grabbing our telescopes and gearing up to charge our beloved rocks in preparation. But if you aren't in-tune with lunar happenings, you may be wondering when the 2021 Strawberry Moon is, when it will be visible, what it is, and more.
What is a Strawberry Moon?
Although we'd absolutely love to imagine the Strawberry Moon casting a reddish-pink hue on planet Earth, that sadly won't be the case. NASA explains that a Strawberry Moon is simply the first full moon of June, and it's also often the last full Moon of spring. The name was reportedly created by Algonquin tribes, who believed it signified June's short-but-sweet strawberry harvest in the Northeastern U.S.
Some also refer to the Strawberry Moon as the "Hot Moon," as it generally comes around the start of summer, or the "Honey" or "Mead Moon," because it signified the time when honey was "ripe" and ready to consume in the form of Mead, a medieval European honey wine. During this time, the moon and Earth are orbiting each other on approximately the same plane as the Earth and sun. Then, during solstice, the sun appears highest in the sky, while the moon appears lowest in the sky.
Additionally, if you aren't familiar with the term "supermoon," it's when the either new or full moon is within 90 percent of its closest point to Earth in its orbit. During this time, the moon is at its largest and brightest.
So, bottom line: it will just look like a regular supermoon — it just happens to be in June.
When will the Strawberry Moon be visible?
On Thursday, June 24, the Strawberry Moon will officially become visible to us on planet Earth, according to NPR. The best time to see it will be around moonrise, because it will appear very large and bursting with colors from the sunset, as it emerges from the far horizon. Experts believe it will reach "peak illumination" at about 2:40 p.m. ET, but if you want to make sure you're getting to see it at its peak in your area, use the Almanac's moonrise calculator.
Whether it's cloudy in your area, or if you simply don't get a great view of the moon and stars living in a city with light pollution, you can also livestream the Strawberry Moon as it emerges over Rome.
"It'll look goldish. It can have a tiny bit of a red tinge to it depending on what's in the atmosphere, but mostly it will look like a nice yellow," Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, told NPR. That said, we're hoping to see it IRL.
Are there any spiritual aspects of the Strawberry Moon?
If you're tapping into the spiritual side of June's 2021 Strawberry Moon, you'll want to take time to reassess your productivity, per Elite Daily. With that, you'll want to think about how much you work, and if you're making enough time for yourself, for your friends, and family. That evening, the moon will be in Capricorn, a cardinal earth sign, which implies there will be a lot of energy directed to your goals and aspirations. The sign itself is also heavily associated with economic drive.
But since this is taking place during Cancer season, it also implies there will be some emotional turmoil. Full moons also represent letting go of things that aren't important to you. So, if you come to the conclusion that your work ethic is a little too focused, you'll likely decide to dial things back, and to make more time for your personal life.