The strawberry micro-moon was a treat

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Strawberry Moon

Yesterday on the night of June 9, people in North America witnessed what is known as a a micro-moon or a mini-moon or even the strawberry-moon.

The moon is at its farthest during this period and so the full moon is also known as the farthest full moon or smallest full moon of the year. This June’s full moon occurred less than a day after the Earth’s natural satellite reached its farthest point in its orbit around our planet. Thanks to the near alignment of full moon and lunar apogee, we were treated with the farthest and smallest full moon of the year. The year’s farthest full moon on June 9 lies some 30,000 miles (50,000 km) farther from Earth than did the year’s closest new moon on May 25.

One fortnight (or approximately two weeks) before this June 9 micro-moon, it was the closest new moon of the year on May 25, 2017. On that date, the new moon paired up quite closely with perigee, the moon’s nearest point in its monthly orbit. And thus we had the closest new moon – and closest supermoon – of 2017.

Next year’s micro-moon or mini-moon will be seen in July 2018. In 2019, the year’s smallest full moon will fall on September 14; and in 2020, the smallest full moon will occur on October 31. The micro-moon or mini-moon frequently recurs in periods of 14 lunar months (14 returns to full moon), a period of about one year and 48 days.

In North America the full moon in June is also called the Strawberry Moon; and more generally in the Northern Hemisphere, the June full moon goes by the appellation of Rose Moon or Honey Moon. The terms supermoon or micro-moon aren’t names from folklore (like Strawberry Moon). Those names aren’t bound to a particular month or season. They’re just a modern terms to describe the year’s largest and smallest (or brightest and faintest) moons.

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