What Time Is the Strawberry Moon of June 2021 and Is It Pink?

Skywatchers will be able to see the strawberry moon on Thursday as the full moon rises in the sky that night.

The strawberry moon will reach its peak illumination at 2:40 p.m. EDT according to NASA, though it will not be visible until it rises above the horizon later on.

For anyone who misses it on Thursday, full moons can appear to be full for as long as three days, according to National Radio Astronomy Observatory, so there will be other chances to catch the strawberry moon in the sky.

The name given to a full moon relates to the season when it appears. As such, many names, including the pink moon, have ties to nature. "Strawberry moon" is the name given to the full moon in June.

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the name has been used by a number of Native American peoples to mark the ripening of strawberries in the month.

There are also alternative names for the full moon in June, including the Anishinaabe term Blooming Moon and Cherokee term Green Corn Moon.

According to Gordon Johnston, former planetary program executive at NASA who writes monthly articles on lunar activity and other skywatching opportunities for the space agency, some say the name strawberry moon may come from the moon's color at this time of year.

This might be because of the position of the moon. Johnston wrote: "For Europe's higher latitudes, the full moon nearest the summer solstice shines through more atmosphere than at other times of the year, making it more likely to have a reddish color."

It should be noted that it is unclear whether the moon will appear pink or red on Thursday. It may just be its usual color. A moonrise calculator can be found here.

The moon can sometimes appear to be red, orange, or pink because of the way light is scattered through the Earth's atmosphere. When the moon's light has more atmosphere to get through, the reddish effect occurs.

This is why the moon may appear red or pink when it is low in the sky, and is the same reason sunsets and sunrises have their recognizable colors.

The Italy-based Virtual Telescope Project is due to show a live stream of the strawberry moon rising above Rome on Thursday.

It is scheduled for 7 p.m. UTC (3 p.m. EDT) and can be viewed on the Virtual Telescope Project's WebTV website here.

Moon in sky
A stock image shows the moon in the sky. The name of the Strawberry Moon has links back to Native American sources, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Thomas Marx/Getty