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Rare strawberry moon will be first since 1967

Posted at 4:28 AM, Jun 20, 2016

When something happens rarely, we say it occurs once in a blue moon. But it turns out, there's another moon that's even rarer, and it’s going to appear in the night sky very soon.

On Monday, June 20, you can look up to the night sky and see a strawberry moon. That's when the longest day of the year, known as the summer solstice, also happens to have a full moon.

The strawberry moon got its name from Algonquin tribes that saw the first full moon of the summer as a signal that it was time to gather the fruits around them.

The strawberry moon was a cause for celebration in other countries as well. But since strawberries didn't originally grow in Europe, people there called it the full rose moon. It's also known in various places worldwide as the hot moon, honey moon and long night moon.

About 25,000 people are expected to gather at Stonehenge for this year's strawberry moon. Stonehenge is thought to be somehow related to the changing of the seasons because the sun aligns with the monument only on the summer and winter solstices.

It's often called a once-in-a-lifetime event, because there can be decades between each strawberry moon appearance.

But you won't have long to take in the strawberry moon since the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. The moon will rise and set at different times depending on where you live, but it will be in the sky for about nine hours.

If you can't get outside to take in the rare cosmic coincidence, the Farmer's Almanac is planning to host a live stream of the moon from an observatory in the Canary Islands.


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