The Sky Tonight Update: Strawberry Supermoon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time of year to gather ripening fruit. It also coincides with the peak of the strawberry harvesting season.  This name has been used by Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples, among others, to mark the ripening of “June-bearing” strawberries that are ready to be gathered. The Haida term Berries Ripen Moon reflects this as well. As flowers bloom and early fruit ripens, June is a time of great abundance for many.

Some other names associated with the June moon are Blooming Moon (Anishinaabe) which is indicative of the flowering season, while Green Corn Moon (Cherokee) and Hoer Moon (Western Abenaki) suggest that it’s time to tend to young crops.

Other names highlight that this is a time of new life: The Tlingit have used the term Birth Moon, referring to the time when certain animals are born in their region (the Pacific Northwest). Egg Laying Moon and Hatching Moon are Cree terms that also hint at a time of many animal babies.

Alternative European names for this Moon include the Honey Moon and the Mead Moon. June was traditionally the month of marriages, and is even named after the Roman goddess of marriage, Juno. Following marriage comes the “honeymoon,” which may be tied to this alternative Moon name.

This is also the first of three supermoons for 2022. The Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

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