June 02, 2023
Look up at the night sky on Saturday and you might spy a once-a-year phenomenon: a full, bright strawberry moon.
The strawberry moon — also called the rose, mead or honey moon — is a June full moon that takes on a yellow or orange hue. (Despite the name, it doesn't really look pink.) The name was used by Algonquin tribes along the northeastern U.S. to signal the start of strawberry season, when the "June-bearing" berries were ripe enough to harvest, the Farmer's Almanac reports.
NASA predicts that the strawberry moon will be most visible around 11:42 p.m. on Saturday night, although it will start to appear after sunset. Stargazers will also be able to spot Venus and Mars that evening, but the moon's brightness may wash out fainter stars surrounding them.
As Space.com explains, the moon often glows "warmer" in the summer because it is typically lower in the sky between June and September, when there is more atmosphere separating it from earthbound observers. This is why the moon takes on the same colors we see in sunsets — oranges and yellows.
The strawberry moon is arriving a bit early this year; it usually appears closer to the summer solstice on June 21. Last year, for instance, the strawberry moon materialized on June 14, while in 2021 it appeared on June 24.