Now and the upcoming few days mark several points of astronomical interest. The first is today, Happy Summer Everyone!!!!. It’s June 21st, the first day of calender summer!
June 21st 2013 Summer Solstice
The June 21st solstice occurs at 12:04 A.M. EDT, bringing in the summer for the Northern Hemisphere. The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun appears directly overhead at its zenith. This event occurs annually, at the time of the June solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun to its maximum extent. It currently (Year 2013) lies at 23° 26′ 15.143″ north of the Equator. This is the longest day of the year, with the earliest sunrise and latest sunset.
The next exciting event occurs on June 22-23rd, which date depends upon where you are located.
June 23rd 2013 Perigee Full Moon
The Moon is at perigee, the point in its orbit when it is nearest to Earth. Full Moon at 6:32 A.M. EDT. The night full moon will rise at night just as the Sun is setting, about 9:00 pm EDT. This Full Moon will be a Supermoon, due to it’s being at perigee in full phase. Last May’s full moon was also a Supermoon, although only 90% of perigee. The June full moon will be a full perigee Full Moon, sometimes called a Super Supermoon. The next one will not occur until 2026. The moon will be noticeably larger than a normal Full Moon. Due to it’s closeness, tides will also be markedly higher. The June Full Moon is often referred to as the Strawberry Moon in native American Indian folklore. It is also called the Lover’s Moon, based upon poems and song promoting June, after May, as the Wedding Moon.
The moon will appear full on the 22nd and 23rd, depending where you are. The official date is the 23rd. On either of these nights, the full moon should appear larger than what you are used to. Try to pick a time with a visible eastern horizon just as the sun sets and the moon rises. This will produce an additional enlargement of the moon, by diffraction lensing viewing through more of the Earth’s atmosphere! This also commonly gives the moon an orange-like color.