Strawberry moon tonight: What is it and when can you see it?

·2-min read
Strawberry moon tonight: what is it and when can you see it? (PA Archive)
Strawberry moon tonight: what is it and when can you see it? (PA Archive)

Skygazers in the UK are set to be treated to the final “supermoon” of the year as the Earth’s natural satellite appears bigger and brighter in the night sky on Thursday.

The full moon in June is also known as the “strawberry moon” as it coincides with the harvesting season of the fruit in North America.

When can we see it?

The celestial event is expected to be visible at dusk on June 24, when the moon is at its closest point to Earth

Jake Foster, astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich said the best time to see the supermoon in the UK will be in the in the evening after sunset.

“The strawberry moon will be the final supermoon of 2021, and it will reach its peak on June 24 at 19:39 BST, though in the UK the moon won’t rise until about an hour after this time,” he said.

During this time, the Earth’s natural satellite will appear around 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.

The strawberry moon will be the final supermoon of 2021

Astronomer Jake Foster

But what is a super moon?

Mr Foster said: “A supermoon is the result of a full moon occurring when the moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

“This can occur because the moon orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, rather than a circular one.

“Since this means that the moon is slightly closer to us, it appears slightly bigger in the sky.”

He said the best way to see strawberry moon will be to look southeast just after sunset.

Mr Foster added: “The moon will make its way west throughout the night before setting in the southwest just after sunrise.

“You don’t need any special equipment to observe this event and there is no particular location you need to be to see it – as this is a bright full moon, as long as the skies are clear of clouds, it will be easy to spot whether you are in a light-polluted city or a dark area of countryside.”

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