Eyes to the Sky: Summer solstice and Strawberry Moon
The summer solstice occurred this morning at 1:04 EDT. Today is the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. The days around the solstice are also known as the marker for midsummer, the time the sun, that has been climbing higher in the sky and rising and setting furthest north of the year, reverses direction.
The longest days of the year, 15 hours 16 minutes in our locale, began Wednesday and will prevail through Tuesday the 25th. The shortest nights of the year, 8 3 4 hours from sunset to sunrise, welcome the stargazer to enjoy warm evenings under a picturesque sky. Sunset tonight is at 8:33, a minute short of the latest of the year. The latest sunsets of the year, 8:34, begin on Monday and last through July 1. Tomorrow's sunrise, 5:17, is the final earliest sunup of the year.
Brilliant planet Venus appears in the sunset glow, following in the sun's path. Known as the Evening Star, it sets close to 10 p.m. all week. Tonight, on the other side of the sky, in the east-southeast, the nearly full moon will be suspended above the horizon.
June's full moon has many appropriate names: Strawberry, Flower, Rose or Honey Moon.
Full moon occurs at 7:32 a.m. Sunday, so it appears full tomorrow and Sunday nights. Also, it will be nearest to Earth, known as perigee, and therefore the largest full moon of 2013. Moonrise is shortly before sunset tomorrow, at 7:45, and shortly after sunset on Sunday, 8:42. This full moon is not to be missed!
Be sure to celebrate this weekend of the solstice by observing the setting sun's northernmost position while thrilling to the super Full Strawberry Moon.
To contact Judy Isacoff go to: www.naturesturn.org
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.