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Look For The 'Strawberry Moon' On June 20

The so-called "Strawberry Moon" will be visible on June 20 in the night sky.

This special appearance of the red-tinted Strawberry Moon happens when a full moon occurs on the same day as the summer solstice, which marks the start of summer in the northern hemisphere, and will arrive at 7:02 a.m. ET on June 20, notes Huffington Post. The solstice is set to arrive at 6:34 p.m. ET that day.

The Algonquin Indians gave this particular moon its name, believing its appearance was an indication that it was time to start harvesting strawberries and other fruits.

There’s something else that makes this particular moon different, according to the website EarthSky:

It marks the fourth of four full moons in between the March 2016 equinox and the June 2016 solstice. Usually, there are only three full moons in one season (between an equinox and solstice, or vice versa), but sometimes there are four.

The third of four full moons to take place in a single season has its claim to fame: it’s sometimes called a seasonal Blue Moon (in contrast to a Blue Moon by the definition of second full moon in a calendar month). The most recent Blue Moon by the seasonal definition occurred on May 21, 2016, or one lunar month before this solstice full moon.

Okay so … seven times in 19 calendar years, a season has four full moons. And in cycles of 19 years, the moon phases fall on or near the same calendar dates.

It should be no surprise that – sure enough, 19 years from now – we’ll have four full moons in between the March 2035 equinox and June 2035 solstice, and the full moon on May 22, 2035, will count as the third of four full moons in one season – a seasonal Blue Moon.

As EarthSky also points out, this is the first Strawberry Moon to appear since 1967, known famously as the "Summer of Love." So perhaps the Strawberry Moon of 2016 will similarly usher in a groovy period of good vibes.

Sources: Huffington Post, EarthSky / Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA, via Earth and Space News

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