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Skywatch 16: Planets line up and the Strawberry Moon

Newswatch 16's John Hickey shows us why this month's full moon is different than others in this week's Skywatch 16.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA —

Full Strawberry Moon

In this week's Skywatch 16 — the full Strawberry Moon. It gets its name because this is the time of year strawberries are ripe for the picking. It's also known as the "berries ripen moon" because other fruits are coming along.

What's a supermoon?

The Strawberry Moon of June is also our second supermoon of the year. What's a supermoon? A supermoon appears a little bigger and a little brighter than a normal full moon because, in the lunar orbit around the earth, the moon is a little closer than normal. 

To us here on earth, it looks a little bigger and a little brighter. Compared to a micromoon, when the moon is at its furthest point from the earth in its orbit, it appears somewhat larger and brighter than that, but compared to a normal full moon, you can't see much of a difference.

Morning planetary lineup

For our early morning risers, we're getting into the time of the month when we're getting a view of our five-planetary lineup — Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn — all five planets visible to the naked eye can be seen in our morning sky.

Look east and southeast about half an hour to 45 minutes before sunrise. Mercury is still a little hard to see, but in time, it will appear a little brighter, so if you can't see it here this week, don't worry – in a couple of weeks, it will appear brighter and easier to see.

As always, we hope for clear skies.

See past Skywatch 16 segments on YouTube:   

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