Jun 8, 2017
Micro strawberry moon expected Thursday and Friday night
This month's full moon will be more unique than most. Known as a micro moon or mini moon, it's a full moon that appears slightly smaller than a typical full moon.
Micro moons occur because the moon's orbit around the earth is slightly elliptical. On average, the moon is 240,000 miles from Earth. However, at perigee (the moon's closest point to Earth) the moon is approximately 220,000 miles from Earth. At apogee (the moon's farthest point from Earth) the moon is approximately 250,000 miles from Earth.
When the moon is full and near apogee it will appear to be smaller and less bright than usual. But not much. Compared to a super moon (a full moon near perigee) micro moons appear to be about 14 percent smaller. Check out the comparison of a super moon to a micro moon in the attached picture.
Because perigee and apogee only occur once a year, this will be the smallest full moon of 2017.
The June full moon is also known as the Strawberry Moon. This has nothing to do with the appearance of the moon though. It got this name from the Algonquin Indians in the Northeast U.S. The June full moon often occurs at about the same time strawberries reach their peak ripeness in this part of the country. The nickname was a reminder to the tribes that it was time to start picking.
The moon officially will be full at 9:09 a.m. Friday morning, but it will appear to be full both Thursday and Friday night in the continental United States.
by Matt Holiner