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Strawberry moon forever — or at least this weekend

The strawberry moon rises behind St Michael's Mount in Marazion near Penzance on June 28, 2018, in Cornwall, England.
Matt Cardy
Getty Images
The strawberry moon rises behind St Michael's Mount in Marazion near Penzance on June 28, 2018, in Cornwall, England.

What's in a name? That which we call a strawberry moon, by any other word would smell as sweet.

June's full moon, also known as "strawberry moon," is coming up Saturday evening, reaching its peak at 11:42 p.m. ET. It's expected to be big, bright and golden.

According to NASA, the full moon will last through the weekend, from Friday night to Monday morning.

If you're lucky to be near a clear sky this weekend, look out for the bright star, Antares, which will appear near the right of the moon. Venus and Mars should also be in plain view, NASA said.

"Strawberry moon" has nothing to do with the big rock's hue

The popular nickname for the full moon in June comesfrom the Algonquin tribes. They called it the "Strawberry moon" to mark the peak of ripening strawberries in the northeastern U.S.

In fact, many names for full moons have originsin early Native American tribes — including March's full moon, called the worm moon, as well as May's full moon, known as the flower moon.

Oddly enough, the other nicknames for the full moon in June have very little to do with its physical traits. "Honey moon" is an old European name, nodding to the end of June, when honey was ready for harvesting.

"Rose moon" is another European name that relates to farming. In this case, it pays homage to the roses that bloom during June. (Though NASA said some sources indicate that the name also refers to the moon's reddish color when it's low in the sky.)

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: June 5, 2023 at 10:00 PM MDT
This story previously said that the strawberry moon coincided with the beginning of summer. In fact, the season begins on the summer solstice which, in 2023, takes place on June 21.
Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.

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