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​Strawberry Moon Phenomenon Will Be Visible In The Skies Tonight

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​Strawberry Moon Phenomenon Will Be Visible In The Skies Tonight

Star gazers will get an absolute treat if they crane their necks upwards tonight and look at June's full 'Strawberry Moon'.

According to NASA, the moon will be full on 5 June at 3.12pm EDT - which is 5.12am for people on the east coast of Australia, however it should be visible all night. .

The NASA website explains: "The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from early Thursday morning into early Sunday morning."

While you'd assume its fruity name has something to do with colour, it's actually what it was dubbed by early Native American tribes in relation to harvesting strawberries.

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The name is a reference to the strawberry harvest, not a colour. Credit: PA
The name is a reference to the strawberry harvest, not a colour. Credit: PA

NASA's Gordon Johnston explained: "The Maine Farmer's Almanac first published Indian names for the full Moons in the 1930's. According to this almanac, the full Moon in June or the last full Moon of Spring is known as the Strawberry Moon, a name universal to just about every Algonquin tribe.

"The name comes from the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in north eastern North America."

It's got some other names, too, like the 'Mead Moon' or 'Honey Moon' - with the latter of the two probably ringing a bell for a reason.

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"Mead is a drink created by fermenting honey mixed with water, sometimes with fruits, spices, grains, or hops," NASA continued.

"The tradition of calling the first month of marriage the 'honeymoon' dates back to at least the 1500's and may be tied to this full Moon, either because of the custom of marrying in June or because the 'Honey Moon' is the 'sweetest' Moon of the year.

"Some writings suggest that the time around the Summer solstice at the end of June was when honey was ripe and ready to be harvested from hives or from the wild, which made this the 'sweetest' Moon."

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA
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Friday's full moon won't look the same for everyone, with LiveScience warning that it will showcase a 'penumbral lunar eclipse' in much of the Eastern Hemisphere, meaning the moon will appear 'dark and silvery'.

Plus, as it peaks during the daytime for North America, those of you based there will probably be better off gazing skyward at moonrise, with the not-quite-so-full moon its ascent at 8.23 EDT.

As for people in Australia, Astrophysicist Dr David Gozzard - from the University of Western Australia International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research - told the Daily Mail: "The moon won't disappear it'll just go dimmer, so what we'll really see is a dimmed full moon.

"It won't be as bright as it normally is."

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The strawberry moon above Berlin, Germany, in June 2016. Credit: PA
The strawberry moon above Berlin, Germany, in June 2016. Credit: PA

Gozzard said the best views will be from the west coast, but promised Aussies in all states will be able to see it.

He continued: "Because it's going to last about three hours that means it's going to be peaking around twilight, so around dawn, when the sun is getting up.

"The full moon is going to be quite high in the sky so it'll be reasonably obvious. Anywhere you can get out and see the sky and see the moon will be a good place to see it from, as long as you can get a reasonably unobstructed view to the west.

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"It'll be very obvious you don't need anything special to see it."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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