June 20, the longest day of 2016, happens on a Monday, which already feels like the longest day of the week. There’s an extra special astronomical occurrence to go along with the summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere this year. We’re also getting a strawberry moon.
The name “strawberry moon” might lead you to envision a glowing red apocalyptic disk in the night sky, but NASA says it’s actually named for strawberry-picking season and is sometimes known as a “rose moon” in Europe. This is the first time we’ve had a full moon on the June solstice since way back in 1967, so that should add some extra flair to your druidic celebrations.
We see the moon almost every clear night, but our lunar friend is still an object of fascination. Earlier this year, a rumor of a green moon spread around the internet, but it was entirely fictional. Astrophotographers are turning out some stunning images of our natural satellite, including this shot of the ISS in front of a full moon. Monday’s strawberry moon could be a nice photo op for space fans looking to mark the rare occasion.