June 14, 2022

Strawberry Supermoon brightens sky, is lowest full moon of the year

A Strawberry Supermoon sweetened the skies this week.

The full moon began Tuesday morning around 7:52 a.m., and was at its closest to Earth — or perigee — at 7:24 p.m. EDT, according to NASA.

It qualifies as a “supermoon,” which is when a full moon occurs during the period that the moon is at its closest to Earth during its elliptical orbit, the space agency said.

The moon appears as its largest and brightest during supermoons.

A supermoon rises behind the Galata Tower in Istanbul, Turkey.
A supermoon rises behind the Galata Tower in Istanbul, Turkey.Emrah Gurel / AP

It appears around 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when the moon is at the furthest point of its orbit, or apogee.

This event will also be the lowest full moon on the horizon in 2022, NASA said.

Those who looked out just before 2 a.m. EDT on Wednesday may have caught the full moon when it was just 23.3 degrees above the horizon, NASA said.

On average, the moon orbits at a distance of about 238,000 miles from Earth. But at perigee, it’s about 226,000 miles away — or about 12,000 miles closer to Earth.

There are other names, but the term “strawberry” comes from a Farmers’ Almanac in the U.S. that published Native American names for full moons. Algonquin tribes in the northeast called it the strawberry moon because it coincides with the strawberry harvest, according to NASA.

The term “supermoon” wasn’t coined until 1979.

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