Summer Solstice + Strawberry Moon = AWEsome Day

It’s Summer Solstice; that means today is the first day of my favorite time of year.

I love summer! The bright sun, warm weather, longer days, sweet fruit, fresh vegetables, cold ice cream, music, outdoor gatherings, the list could go on forever.

Summer Solstice 2016 is unique because it coincides with the Strawberry Moon. What does that all mean?

Summer Solstice is the first day of astronomical summer and the longest day of the year. It happens each year around mid-late June when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer and it’s rays shine on their northernmost position from the equator. At the same time, the North Pole reaches its maximum annual tilt toward the sun.

Summer Solstice

Just like any other day in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun rises in the east and follows its path across the sky, but on the Solstice, the sun follows its northernmost, longest, and highest path before setting in the northwest sky. Thus making this day the longest day of the year. Think about it, if the day is longer, so are the morning and evening twilights. How amazing is that?

Unique. This year, the Summer Solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon. This hasn’t occurred since 1967 and will not occur again for another 50 years.

The (Full) Strawberry Moon got its name from the Native American Algonquin tribes (from the Northern Great Lakes area) who kept track of seasons by the moon. So, the June full moon was named Strawberry Moon to coincide with the strawberry harvest. Other geographic locations and cultures refer to this moon as the Full Rose Moon (Europe), the “Hot Moon”, the “Honey Moon”, or the “Mead Moon”.) The Strawberry Moon hangs low in the sky and, even though the name implies a red-tone, it gives off a warm yellow or golden-orange tint when it’s close to the horizon. The moon glows white when it reaches its high point in the sky.

Whether you are interested in astronomy, or long summer days I think we can all agree; Mother Nature is amazing, she is poetry in motion, awesome - in the true sense of the word “AWE”.

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