This Week's Strawberry Moon Is Also a Supermoon. Here's How to See It

The strawberry supermoon arrives this week.

strawberry supermoon
Courtesy of Yongkiet Jitwattanatam/Shutterstock

The moon will take a starring role in the best stargazing event of June later this month. Prior to that event, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the strawberry moon.

On June 14, the last full moon of spring arrives. It’s the Strawberry Moon, the second in a run of three supermoons to start the nicest months of the year. That night the moon will reach its full phase with a supermoon, which is the name for a full moon that is a little larger and brighter than the average full moon.

There may only be a small difference between a supermoon and your average full moon, but it is a great night to get out and appreciate the brightest object in the night sky.

However, it also makes for a poor night of stargazing. The moon’s light will block out fainter objects and make it hard to see some stars. That is even more pronounced when observing the night sky from a city (any city) where there's already plenty of light pollution hiding celestial objects from sight. 

supermoon
NASA/JPL Caltech

What is a supermoon?

Supermoon is a colloquial term--one that has invited plenty of debate about how “super” it really is--for a perigee-syzygy moon. That occurs when the moon is within roughly 90% of its closest approach to Earth. The moon has an elliptical orbit around Earth, so it’s not always the same distance from us.

The debate around its super-ness stems from the belief that it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call it "super." A supermoon is only about 14% larger and 30% brighter than a micromoon, which is what you get when the moon is at the furthest part of its elliptical orbit from Earth, per NASA. So, it is larger and brighter, but it’s only a little larger and brighter.

So, there’s a supermoon on June 14. You might not feel like it’s super. That’s ok. You can call it a perigee-syzygy moon. You might feel like it is super. That’s ok, too. You’re allowed to enjoy things. Though, it’ll be a little tougher to enjoy stargazing because of that super light pollution.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin on Twitter.