The Supermoon looming large at the horizon June 24, 2021 is the “Strawberry Moon.” It is also called the “Roses Moon.” Either name implies a reddish or rosé colored moon. It may take on that hue as it rises similar to a sunrise or sunset because of the time of year.
At the Summer Solstice the sun is high in the sky and the moon is low. Thus the moon will be seen through enough more of the atmosphere to appear to have a tinge of color.
Full moons are given names of crops, animal behavior and farming lore appropriate for their time of year. But not as well known is the connection to honey.
According to some NASA findings on European full moon names, the June full moon is also called the “Mead Moon” and “Honey Moon.. Also noted is that the term “honeymoon” goes back to the 1500s in Europe.
Expect to see the moon appearing full Wednesday through Friday. It’s listed by some sky publications as a “Supermoon” because its orbit takes it close (perigee) to earth.
For good info on perigee, Supermoons and new moons that are full visit Time and Date.
Maybe you think of winter, spring, summer and fall as your year’s seasons but astronomers also have at least one other seasonal time frame: Eclipse Season. It is the short period when a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse happen near each other.
Coming up is a short lunar eclipse on May 26, 2021. Don’t blink because you may miss it.
It is called short because totality lasts just a bit more than 14 minutes. According to astronomers, that is the 10th shortest totality for a lunar eclipse between the years 1600 and 2599.
To better understand what will be happening, know that during the lunar eclipse a full moon will be moving through the Earth’s umbral shadow and be fully in that shadow for slightly more than 14 minutes. But the entire movement through the shadow will be about three hours.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains that the part of the United States where you are watching the eclipse will matter as to totality with west of the Mississippi River better than east.
But as TV commercials say Wait. The eclipse is just part of May’s lunar special event. Because the May full moon’s orbit takes it closer to Earth than the year’s other full moons, it will be 2021’s best and brightest Supermoon. During the eclipse, it will appear as a blood moon.
The lunar event is followed by an annular solar eclipse on June 10. That eclipse’s partial phases will make it the 5th longest worldwide for an annular solar eclipse that happens in the same season as a total lunar eclipse.
But forget about blinking. Proper glasses or other safety precautions are needed to protect your eyesight.
EarthSky has an excellent summary of Eclipse Season. Also see Time and Date for information on both the lunar and solar eclipses this year and in the future.
Forget about turning off the light that may be keeping you up on April 26-27. It’s streaming in through the windows from upstairs, outside. However, the source will have seemed larger earlier in the evening.
What’s shining through the windows if the sky is clear, is not merely a full moon. The orb outside is a Supermoon. It really isn’t larger. It just plays tricks on the eyes and perspective as it appears huge when first appearing at the horizon and in early evening.
The April full moon, also known as the “Pink Moon” is a Supermoon because it will be closer to Earth than most other full moons. The exception being the full moon in May 26, called the “Flower Moon” that will be even closer.
Some astronomy sites only designate the April and May full moons as Supermoons. Other sites include June 24’s which is also close. Still other sites include the March full moon which was fairly close.
For times to watch or photograph the moon check. EarthSky. The site also has the April, May June, 2021 Supermoons’ distances from the moon to Earth with April 27 at 222,212 miles (357,615 km), May 26 at 222,089 miles (357,462km) and June 24 at 224,662 miles (361,558 km).
If interested in how this all happens, you should know about the lunar perigee. It’s when the moon’s orbit brings it to its closest point to Earth. The opposite is apogee.
Of course, the third factor is where the earth is in relation to the moon and the sun to be a full moon. So, the April Supermoon actually happens about 12 hours short of it lunar perigee and May’s Supermoon falls about nine hours after perigee. The reason some sites refer just to April and May’s full moons as Supermoons is because less than 24 hours occur between the perigee and full moon phase.
Next, don’t be surprised if bothered with sinus trouble and have a full-moon sized headache. Because the pull of the full moon, particuclarly the Supermoon, does influence the tides, lore has it that their affect on humans and animals can also be felt.
Often called the Flower Moon or the Planting Moon, the early May moon appearing May 7 will be the last of the full supermoons in 2020. Best time to see it is at 5:45 a.m. CT. It will also seem at its full super size the next day.
There was one in March and one in April. Now comes the third and last one. The reason full is used before the term supermoon is because the orbits of some new moons also go close to Earth making them super in size if you saw them.
But the moon in its new phase doesn’t reflect the sun. So to enjoy a moon that appears super-sized because it is close to Earth you have to watch for it in its full phase when it fully reflects the sun.
Supermoon is a name given to our moon when it is within 90 percent of its closet approach to earth. The closeness does make it seem super sized but that is an illusion.
The largest looking full moon, a really supermoon of 2020 will be brightening your neighborhood tonight if the sky isn’t cloudy where you are.
The reason we say that largest looking is that its size is an optical illusion. The moon looks larger because its orbit brings it closer.
For April 7, he moon’s closest orbital point to earth, called the perigee, has coincided with the moon’s full phase and will be closest at 10:35 p.m. EDT.
Super and even just full moons have been given lots of nicknames. The April one is often called the “Pink” moon. The Pink moon will look almost as good the evenings of April 6 and April 8, if the sky is clear.
If weather isn’t cooperating mark the calendar for May 7 for the “Flower” super full moon. Just think of the overused but usually true adage of April rain bringing May flowers.
For a fun look at the night sky and the moon visit Space/fullmoon/calendar because it has an interesting video from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The next closest moons will be in the new moon phase which doesn’t reflect the sun. They come the middle of September, October and November. However, the full moon Oct. 1 is the Harvest Moon and Oct. 31 has the Blue Moon, as in the saying “once in a blue moon” because there will be two full moons in one month
Look up the night of March 20-21. There will be a supermoon. A supermoon is a full moon (or new moon but you don’t see the new moons even if they are super) that just about coincides with when the moon’s egg-shaped orbit puts it at its perigee, the closest point to earth during that month’s orbit. It happens Tuesday.
This supermoon also coincides with the Northern Hemisphere’s spring equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere it is autumnal equinox. Vacationers take that opposite season into consideration when planning a trip.
You’re right if you think you just saw a suspermoon. The closest supermoon of 2019 was Feb. 19, the middle supermoon of a series of three that occurred Jan. 21, happened again in mid February and ends with the one this week March 20-21.
But this one comes on what is the spring equinox north of the equator and fall equinox south of the equator. Also called the vernal equinox, it is when the Sun is exactly above the equator during the Earth’s axis movement from south to north.
Until this date, the Sun rises and sets somewhat south of the equator. After this date it rises and sets more to the north of the equator. You will likely start noticing the sun beginning to shine on a different part of your property.
What else can you expect? The moon will look larger, mostly as it rises around sunset which is a moon illusion. But this supermoon will also look brighter and ts pull also has a tidal impact. Some people might even complain of sinus headaches.
Of course you will see monthly full moons this year but the one coming up in mid-March is the last of the 2019 supermoons so mark it on your calendar.
Look up the night of Jan 20 into morning of Jan 21. You won’t need a telescope or special glasses. It’s a “Supermoon,” “Wolfmoon,” “Bloodmoon. Ooh, it’s disappearing.
About midnight, CT, the full moon will have fully moved in its orbit between the earth and the sun. so it won’t be reflecting the sun’s rays. The total eclipse will last a long time – an hour.
The Adler Planetarium site lists Central Times for when it begins and happens as partial eclipse starting at 9:34 pm, and total eclipse from 10:41 to 11:43 pm, Jan. 20. Then watch as the moon emerges from behind the earth Jan.l 21.
In Universal Time the eclipse will last almost 3½ hours from the beginning of the partial phase at 3:34 UT until it ends at 6:51 UT. Totality lasts 63 minutes, from 4:41 to 5:44 UT.
So why “Supermoon?” “The moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle,” said Adler Director of Public Observing Michelle Nichols. “Sometimes it is closer to earth so it looks larger,” Nichols said. She noted that the closest it will come near the eclipse will be during the day of Jan. 21 at 1:59 p.m. She calls the appearance of the rising moon seeming to loom large, “an optical illusion.”
She suggested viewers use the thumb test. “Put an arm straight out and cover the moon with your thumb. Then, do it again later when the moon is over head. It will be the same size.”
“Bloodmoon” is a term describing the moon’s color during total eclipse. “Sometimes it looks brick red, sometimes grayish. The sunlight is reflecting at the edge of the earth. The earth has blotted out the blue of the sun so sometimes it could be reddish sometimes grayish. It also depends on how dusty the earth’s atmosphere is,” Nichols said.
“Wolfmoon” is a term for the first full moon of the year, acquired over the years similar to Harvest Moon and Hunter Moon. It also has other names such as Ice Moon according to Time and Date
which explains that people often named the full moons according to the seasons and the phenomena they associated with its time of year.
Where to Watch
View outside your abode. See it happening inside on a live stream at Time and Date Live which will be streaming the event on its site.
But to appreciate and enjoy the lunar eclipse with astronomers go over to the Adler for “Lunapalooza.” The outside observing part is free. Inside events, adults $12, children $8 (members free) include seeing the new Adler show “Imagine the Moon” which charts how people considered the moon over the centuries. Lunar eclipse
Did you see the supermoon last night or, if an early, early bird, this morning when it was supposed to be closest to Earth and at its fullest?
You can photograph it any time but to have it appear larger than other full moons best is to take it low, not high in the sky and near something that might give it size dimension such as a building or tree.
You have time to snap a photo tonight and even Tuesday when it starts to wane but still looks full. Just make time to do it because even though you may have seen the one Oct. 16 and may catch the last of 2016’s three supermoons on Dec. 14, those two full moons aren’t as close.
The next supermoon as close to Earth as the one now will be Nov. 25, 2034, according to NASA.
If wondering what makes this supermoon different than the others this year it relates to the moon’s orbit. Supermoons are full or new moons that are within 90 percent of their perigee – the closest point to Earth of the moon’s orbit. The current supermoon appears larger than others because this time it reaches total fullness very close to its perigee, not just somewhat near it.
Perigee comes was at 5:23 Central Time today, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The moon crested at 7:52 CT.
You will see the supermoon reference on several respected space and sky websites but it isn’t an astronomy term. Instead it is attributable to astrologer Richard Nolle and originates in 20th century astrology about 1979.
Now, set a timer to snap the moon tonight or early tomorrow morning so you can share on social media.
If the weather is good you should be able to see down the road without street lights Nov. 13-15, 2016. Full moons are typically bright. A full moon that is a supermoon because it is closer to Earth than normal is even brighter. The supermoon that starts next week is going to appear larger and outshine supermoons from the past 68 years.
That roundish object that is a space craft destination and the subject of mythology will be the closest it has been to earth since 1848. Or as sports fans might know, it was the year that the Indians last won baseball’s World Series.
There will be another supermoon on Dec. 14 this year but it won’t be quite as close. According to NASA, the next time a full moon will come as close to Earth as on Nov. 14, 2016 is Nov. 25, 2034.
It’s likely it will be hard to miss but Adler Planetarium astronomer Larry Ciupik had a couple of suggestions
“The closest it will be is at 5 a.m. (Central Time) the morning of Nov. 14,” Ciupik said. He pointed out that looking for the supermoon depends on the weather and time of night.
“When the sun sets, look east. Before the sun rises, look west. The moon rises in the east at sunset and sets in the west shortly before the sun rises,” he said.
He pointed out that it probably will look larger when it is on or near the horizon. “That is because when it is up high in the sky there is nothing to compare it to,” Ciupik said.
“That’s called moon illusion,” he said.
BTW, readers, the moon will look bright and large Sunday, Monday and Tuesday but it reaches its full crest early Monday morning. That will occur about the same time it reaches the perigee (technically perigee-syzgy) of its orbit. That is its closest point to Earth.
The opposite or farthest point of the moon’s orbit from the earth is its apogee-syzygy when it’s sometimes known as a mini-moon. Just remember that the orbit is elliptical, not round.
Other information can be found at NASA which is a good resource.