It’s officially summer! Tonight, we also get a rare astronomical gift of a full moon coinciding with the summer solstice.
That hasn’t happened since 1967.
A full moon in June is called the “strawberry moon” which isn’t named that because of its color. According to “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” the strawberry moon was given that name because it occurs during strawberry harvesting season.
Today is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For Honolulu, the summer solstice officially happened at 12:34 p.m. with our sunrise at 5:50 a.m. and sunset at 7:16 p.m. for 13:25:54 hours of daylight.
To put that into perspective, today is 2 hours, 36 minutes longer than on the winter solstice in December.
According to AccuWeather.com, the summer solstice with a full moon won’t happen again until June 21, 2062.
If we want to get technical, the full moon for Hawaii was on June 20, 2016 at 1:02 a.m. EarthSky explains that the times are base upon Universal Time, so there is some disagreement on when the last time the two events coincided with each other. In fact, Slooh cites 1948 as the last time it happened and using U.S. time zones, the last full moon and the June solstice coincided on June 21, 1986.
But don’t let that deter you from enjoying the start of summer and looking up at an beautiful summer solstice strawberry moon.