It’s summer, and there’s a very rare full moon tonight

Summer began about two hours ago (6:34 pm on the east coast). Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the “strawberry moon”, which is not really a red moon, but a full moon that occurs about the time the strawberries are ripening. But the Doodle does have strawberries and—a squirrel:


As notes:

The summer solstice, the official start of summer (according to the calendar, if not necessarily the weather), is the longest day of the year, and this year it is accompanied by a fairly rare event: it coincides with a so-called “strawberry moon,” the folkloric name given to June’s full moon.

What does tonight’s moon have to do with fruit? It’s not because the moon will look reddish, as many people think. Rather, according to “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” the strawberry moon was given that name by the Algonquin tribes because it occurs right at the height of the season when strawberries are harvested. Other names for this month’s full moon are the “hot moon” and the “rose moon.”

Starwatchers will have the first chance to see a full moon on the summer solstice in nearly fifty years. The last time these two phenomena occurred together was at the beginning of 1967’s Summer of Love, and it won’t happen again until 2062.

Well, I’d be well over 110 then, and odds are I won’t be around, so I’ll be sure to look at the moon—if you can see it from Beverly Hills!

Beginning at 8 pm EST, or NOW, you can see a livestream of the full moon at the YouTube site below:



  1. Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Indeed, the moons all have folkloric names. These are the most common:

    January Snow

    February Wolf

    March Sap

    April Grass, Egg, or Pink

    May Flower

    June Strawberry

    July Buck, or Thunder

    August Hay, or Green Corn

    September Harvest

    October Hunter’s

    November Beaver

    December Cold

    • Dominic
      Posted June 21, 2016 at 4:05 am | Permalink

      The Moon of Horses…

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    November beaver moon sounds interesting.

    • Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      The Beaver Moon is Algonquin/New England in origin. For the colonists and the native peoples
      , November was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to guarantee a winter’s supply of furs.

  3. largeswope
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    My strawberries are doing very well this year. The squirrels, the birds and I are enjoying them.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 21, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      That cat in your sig pic is gorgeous.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    The last time these two phenomena occurred together was at the beginning of 1967’s Summer of Love.

    Hey, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. You know, if you’re headed to the Haight.

  5. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Last year we had the first full moon on Christmas day since 1977. I’m guessing these things come in pairs.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      At a wild guess they’re one (or a small integer) multiple of Metonic cycles apart.
      Tough as anyone who has ried to make these things work, the ratio of length of “year” and length of “month” don’t have any simple ratios. Even the Metonic cycle (19 years ~= 235 months (synodic) ~= 6940 days still has about 0.59 days error depending on whether you’re talking sidereal, synodic or draconic months.
      (Of course, this makes a hash of all the “traditional” names for each months full Moon.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        I thought good things came in threes … and … and … how about Harmonic Convergence?

    • Posted June 21, 2016 at 1:04 am | Permalink

      I would think any particular day of the year would fall on a full moon once every 28 years. Since any given day has a 1:28 chance of being on a full moon.

  6. Posted June 21, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    as fast as the little fellow was running I was thinking mink more than squirrel 🙂

  7. Posted June 21, 2016 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    What the article doesn’t actually mention is that the full moon allowed working well into the night as there was enough light to see what one was doing.

  8. Leslie
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The Strawberry Moon doesn’t pertain to my location. Strawberries are picked in March here 🍓 Obviously the moniker displays a preference for more northern climes.

  9. Posted June 21, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Hm, I wonder if I can get any strawberry juice. (Used to be about this time I could get it in honour of Aboriginal Peoples Day.)

  10. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why this is being treated as a rare event with all sorts of news outlets featuring it in their bulletins. We get a full moon every (lunar) month. It may be relatively infrequent for one to fall on the solstice but is it any rarer or any more significant than falling on, say, the 27 June?

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