Skywatcher alert: Strawberry ‘mini moon’ to make appearance

Stock composite image | Images courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Skywatchers will get a once-a-year treat as the full “Strawberry Moon,” along with the planet Saturn and the star Antares, make an appearance Friday night.

The full moon Friday appears with the planet Saturn and the star Antares | Image courtesy of, St. George News

The “Strawberry Moon” is also known as the “Rose Moon” and is being called a “mini moon” because it will appear as the smallest full moon of the year.

The moon will be at apogee – the farthest from the Earth – and is the opposite of the “super moon”  which occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth and appears the largest.

Friday’s full moon is also the lowest of the year, rising only about one-third of the way into the sky; it may appear amber-colored, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and so is also called the “Honey Moon.”

As an added bonus, the planet Saturn and the star Antares will be seen near the full moon this month.

The image on the left shows a super moon on May 5, 2012, compared to a mini or micro moon, image taken Nov. 28, 2012 | Image courtesy of, St. George News

The “Strawberry Moon” is named after the short strawberry harvesting season that occurs during the month of June.

The names of many full moons originate from Native American tribes, which used the natural satellite as a marker for the start and end of seasons.

On average, the moon’s distance is 240,000 miles from the Earth. At perigee, that distance is about 220,000 miles, whereas at apogee it is about 250,000 miles.

Friday’s full moon will rise in the east a little after 9 p.m.

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