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Why can the full moon in June glow red?

Why can the full moon in June glow red?

An impressive full moon, shining bright red – this sight doesn't just make amateur astronomers' hearts beat faster. In June, this time on the twenty-second of the month, the so-called “Strawberry Moon” will rise in the night sky. The name could suggest the previously prescribed natural glasses. The June full moon has that name for a different reason, but the sky can shine red at night from Saturday to Sunday, said Michael Feuchtinger, director of the Vienna Planetarium.

Where did the “Strawberry Moon” get its name?

The origin goes back to the Algonquin people, which are Native American tribes. They gave the full moons of each month names from nature that corresponded to the season in question. They harvested strawberries in June, which is why they called June's full moon the “Strawberry Moon.” The terms “pink moon” and “honeymoon” are also common in Europe. So color had no effect on naming.

However, it could play a role this year and it may be worth taking an evening look at the sky on Saturday. “This year, the Strawberry Moon should be red because there is a lot of Saharan dust in the air,” Feuchtinger explains. “This desert dust causes more blue and green light to be scattered away from the sunlight, leaving only the red light.”

The best conditions are at moonrise

According to the astrophysicist, the chance of seeing the red “strawberry moon” is higher when the moon is full at its height. At this point in time, “the path of light through the atmosphere is the longest,” so most of the light will be scattered away, except for red.

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Looking at the sky at 10 p.m

According to the Geosphere Austria website, this should be at 10:05pm in Graz and around 10:08pm in Klagenfurt. Since sunset is expected to be more than an hour early, it should be completely dark at this time – ideal conditions for impressive moon observations.

Depending on the aerosol content in the air, the Strawberry Moon could also be colored red again as it sets. However, this happens around 4:40am on a Saturday morning – so only for early morning people or people who are really night owls.