People in India are in for an astronomical treat on Friday as the ‘Strawberry moon’ or the penumbral lunar eclipse is set to appear across the skies. The name 'Strawberry Moon is associated with the ripening season of the fruit during the penumbral eclipse.
In a penumbral lunar eclipse, the moon and the sun will be on opposite sides of the earth, and the moon will be close enough that the earth’s shadow will partially fall on it. For the lunar eclipse on Friday, the sun, earth and moon will not be aligned in a straight line.
The earth will block some of the light from the sun, which means, more than 50% of the moon will be covered or eclipsed by the earth’s outer shadow. The shadow of the earth that will fall on the moon is the penumbra, the outermost shadow.
The name Strawberry Moon
The name Strawberry Moon comes from the ripening of the fruit during the northern summer (June to August). According to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the name ‘Strawberry moon’ comes from Maine Farmer’s Almanac, an annual American periodical.
“The Maine Farmer's Almanac first published Indian (native Americans) names for the full moons in the 1930s. According to the Almanac, as the full moon in June and the last full moon of spring, the Algonquin tribes called this the Strawberry Moon. The name comes from the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the north-eastern United States,” NASA said.
According to Eastern Trail, the tribes knew this Moon as “a time to gather ripening strawberries. It is also known as the Rose Moon and the Hot Moon”.
When to watch the eclipse
The penumbral eclipse will start at 11.15 pm on June 5 and end at 2:34 am on June 6, according to reports. It can be seen in full at 12.54 am on Saturday, and will last for three hours and 18 minutes in entirety.
The Strawberry Moon will also be visible in most of Europe and Asia, Australia, Africa, South and East South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Antarctica.
There are three types of lunar eclipses in a season — total, partial and penumbral. Strawberry moon or penumbral lunar eclipse marks the beginning of the eclipse season this year. Following Friday’s penumbral lunar eclipse, there will be a solar eclipse on June 21, and another penumbral lunar eclipse on July 5, which will only be visible to some parts of the world.