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See the First Summer Solstice Full Moon in Nearly 70 Years

Science
See the First Summer Solstice Full Moon in Nearly 70 Years

Today marks a special day for astronomy enthusiasts. The summer solstice and June's strawberry moon will coincide for the first time in nearly 70 years.

Full strawberry moon. Anca Emanuela Teaca / Alamy

In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice marks the longest day of the year and the official start of summer. The solstice officially starts at 6:34 p.m. ET, the exact time the sun will be in the northernmost position in the sky, directly over the Tropic of Cancer, according to National Geographic.

As the sun sets in the west, the moon will rise in the east. It will fill the sky with rose-tinted light.

This astronomical phenomenon hasn't occurred since 1948, the Baltimore Sun reported.

While the summer solstice and June full moon combination is rare, it is actually mathematically predicted to happen every 15 years, Flarmer's Almanac reported. During a live stream event hosted tonight by the almanac and Slooh, astronomer Bob Berman will discuss why its been so long since the last occurrence.

“Having a full moon land smack on the solstice is a truly rare event," Berman said. “We probably won't push people off pyramids like the Mayans did, but Slooh will very much celebrate this extraordinary day of light with fascinating factoids and amazing live telescope feeds."

The Algonquin tribe called June's full moon the strawberry moon because it marked the time of year they should gather ripening fruit, according to the Farmer's Almanac. In Europe, June's full moon is also known as the Rose or the Honey moon.

Raven Fon wrote an article for The Earth Child suggesting five different ways to celebrate the solstice/full moon combination event. Ideas include:

  • Burning herbs. Fon suggests burning any or all of the following herbs to celebrate the solstice: Ruta, Verbena, Misletoe, Lavender, Thyme, Fennel, Plantain, Artemisia or the grass of St. John.
  • Drink to the sun. Enjoy a cup of cinnamon or ginger tea to honor the sun and its warmth. Make a celebratory toast.
  • Set your intention. Fon said the moon has significant manifestation powers, so this astronomical phenomenon is a great time to set your intention(s). Make a list of things you want to bring into and release from your life. The list can include behaviors, goals and desires.
  • Just enjoy the event. The solstice/full moon even is time to be free, Fon wrote. She suggests putting some music on and dancing to express yourself.
  • Take a dip. Fon suggests finding a body of water and taking a dip in it. "As full moon pushed and pulls the waters of our Earth, a purification takes place." Taking a dip will rejuvenate and invigorate your soul, she said.

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