A Strawberry Moon Is Coming. Why the Rare Astrological Event Is So Exciting

The man who captained the first mission to orbit the moon was not, truth be told, terribly impressed by what he experienced. Frank Borman, the commander of Apollo 8, which circled the moon 10 times on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1968, was candid when we chatted one day back in 2015. We met in his private airplane hangar in Billings, Montana, and I asked Borman, now 94, if, living out in big sky country, he doesn’t sometimes gaze up at the full moon at night and think, “I was there. I called that home.”

“Nah,” Borman responded with a wave. “I’ve tried that once or twice because people always tell me I should feel like that, but it just doesn’t work.”
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This week, Borman might regard the moon with the same nonchalance, but the rest of us will be seeing it with different, more enchanted eyes—at least from moonrise on Sunday, June 19, to moonset on Wednesday, June 22. That’s when the sky will be decorated by the much-anticipated Strawberry Supermoon.

The moon was born in violence 4.5 billion years ago, when a planetesimal the size of Mars collided with Earth, sending a vast belt of debris into space. The belt coalesced into a cloud, and the cloud into a moon, which drifted back to a stable orbit averaging 382,000 km (roughly 238,000 mi.) from Earth. From there, the now peaceable moon helps stabilize our seasons and regulates our tides, circling the planet once every 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes.

But the moon’s orbit isn’t perfect. Irregular and egg-shaped, it can be as far as 406,000 km (252,000 mi) from Earth and as close as 357,000 km (222,000 mi). At its closest approach, or perigee, the moon appears 30% larger and 17% brighter than it usually …read more

Source:: Time – Science


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