Look towards the southeast on Friday night after sunset, where the moon will appear "large and golden-hued"

By Mackenzie Schmidt
June 17, 2019 03:36 PM
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There’s a special event happening overhead on Friday night!

A full “Strawberry Moon” will be visible across North America if skies are clear. But don’t expect it to look anything like the fruit it’s named for.

The full moon in the month of June got the nickname “Strawberry Moon” from the Algonquin tribes of Native Americans who lived in Eastern North America, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They used a lunar calendar to track the changing of the seasons and the June full moon often aligned with the best time to harvest wild strawberries in the region.

June’s biggest moon is also sometimes known in European history as the “Mead Moon” or the “Honey Moon.” The latter inspired the common name for a post-wedding vacation, as many marriages traditionally occur in June.

Other celestial events’ names have similar backstories based on the natural world. May’s full moon is known as the “Flower Moon” simply because it’s typically the month when flowers bloom. And April’s is known as the “Pink Moon” because it occurs around the peak bloom of “moss pink” or wild ground phlox — a bright pink wildflower that is one of the first flowers of spring.

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Some other special lunar occurrences this year included January’s Super Blood Wolf Moon, February’s Super Snow Moon and March’s Super Worm Moon.

According to the Almanac, the “Strawberry Moon” will reach peak illumination at 3:12 PM ET on Friday afternoon, but will not be visible until later in the evening, just after sunset. The Almanac suggests looking towards the southeast to spot the moon rising above the horizon, where it will appear "large and golden-hued." According to NASA, the moon will appear full in the sky from Thursday morning to Sunday morning.

For your best glimpse of the celestial event, check out the Almanac's "Moonrise and Moonset Calculator," which will tell you the best time to look to the sky based on your city, state or zip code.