This month’s full moon is most commonly known as the Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon. The first crop of strawberries is picked in June and roses are in full bloom in June. Another common name is the Honey Moon. Others include the Stockman’s Moon, Hot Moon, Mead Moon, Moon of Horses, Lovers’ Moon, Strong Sun Moon and Dyad Moon. Dyad is an old world term for pair. It is believe the pair refers to the Moon and Sun being of equal in importance in June. One of the more interesting names, the Adulterous Moon, comes from Blackfoot Native American tribe. The Taos call it, “The Corn Tassel Appear Moon”.
June is named after Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter. Juno is known as a protector and special counselor of the state. She is associated with the Greek goddess Hera.
Technically the full moon is only a moment in time. That moment occurs at 5:33am MDT on Sunday, June 23 for Aurora, Colorado.
The Moon will look full on the evenings June 22, June 23, and June 24. So which is closest to the true full moon? Fortunately there is an easy way for the casual observer to tell which “full looking moon” is the full moon. A full moon always rises opposite the setting Sun. The Moon that rises within a half hour of sunset is the full moon. If the Moon is well above the horizon or has not risen until well after (greater than a half hour) sunset, it is not a full moon even though it looks like one. Let’s test it this month for Aurora CO.
June 22 The Moon rises well before sunset
Sunset: 8:30pm MDT
Moonrise: 7:59pm MDT
Difference: 31 minutes (Failed but very close, Moon and Sun are not opposite)
June 23 The Moon rises within 30 minutes of sunset
Sunset: 8:31pm MDT
Moonrise: 8:36pm MDT
Difference: 5 minutes (Pass, Moon and Sun are opposite)
June 24 The Moon rise well after sunset
Sunset: 8:31pm MDT
Moonrise: 9:36pm MDT
Difference: 1 hour 1 minute (Failed, Moon and Sun are not opposite)
This test works pretty much every time for any full looking moon. If the Moon looks full and is opposite the Sun in the evening or morning it’s full as this month’s data indicates. Take the time this month to see the difference.
A full moon is the only time the Moon is up all night and the only time a lunar eclipse can take place. A full moon also sets in the west opposite the rising Sun. Here in Aurora moonset over the front range is on the morning of June 23. Moonset occurs at 5:52am MDT in the west. Sunrise is at 5:32am MDT in the east.
Look for the setting full moon over the mountains around 5:15am MDT, a spectacular sight. If you have the time, observe the sunrise. They are usually pretty good here in Colorado.
Wishing you clear skies