Summer Solstice Full Moon in June!

Moon Summer Solstice


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On June  20, 2016, the Full Moon appears on the same night as the summer solstice! It’s rare, all right. 

A full Moon hasn’t landed smack on the solstice since 1948.  But that’s what’s actually happening on Monday, June 20.

This has visible in-your-face consequences. 

First, there’s the solstice …

  • The solstice is, of course, the day with the most minutes of sunshine. 
  • It’s when the midday Sun is the year’s highest. 
  • The sun rises at its leftmost spot on the horizon and sets at its rightmost position.
  • The setting sun sprays into windows at a strange angle, and touches bits of furniture that are not illuminated at any other time.
  • The Sun’s path across the sky makes its longest and most curvy arc.
  • Check out your shadow at 1:00 PM, like Puxtatawney Phil.  This Monday that’s your shortest shadow of the year.

Then you have the full Moon.  By landing exactly on the solstice, this Full Moon doesn’t just rise as the Sun sets but is opposite the Sun in all other ways too.

The Sun gets super high so this Moon must be super-low. Even at its loftiest at 1 AM, it’s downright wimpy-low. This forces its light through thicker air, which also tends to be humid this time of year, and the combination typically makes it amber colored.

This is the true Honey Moon.

The moment of full Moon is early Monday morning.  So it will look equally full on Sunday night and Monday night.  You get two chances to enjoy the Solstice honeymoon.

On the evening of June 20, join me. We’ll be looking through a giant telescope at the Moon, courtesy of Slooh, and you can see it, too, through our live feed right to this Web site. Pretty amazing, right? Click here for the live Solstice Full Moon show!

~ By  Bob Berman

About This Blog

Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s blog on stargazing and astronomy. Wondering which bright objects you’re seeing in the night sky? Want to learn about a breathtaking sight coming up? Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, we’ll cover everything under the Sun (and Moon)!

Reader Comments

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The Honey- Moon is when Bees

The Honey- Moon is when Bees make lots more Honey and other special things! This ties in with Bee keepers knowledge! And moon watchers like me! If more people understood the meanings of the moon and calendars like Stonehenge they would see the cycles many lengthy and short cycles which show not much has changed, it keeps re occurring! The Honey-Moon is reacted to by Bees and others because one can see! Walking home in the dark before electric lights, one needed full and illuminated night skies. And the pressure is warm and humid! Great!
This is true time not scientific time but true time! It goes on and on and around and around! It is not linear!
See you another time!

do you know of any

do you know of any connections between full moons and seizures?

WRONG! Last happened in 1986!

Good lord! The Internet is full of stories tonight about the last coincidence of full moon and summer solstice occurring in 1967 or even earlier. But in fact, it happened in 1986, on my wedding day, June 21. Look it up (in THE OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC, no less, which I still have on my shelf from that year). Full moon occurred at 22:42 EDT and the summer solstice occurred at 12:30 EDT, both on June 21, 1986.

Dear reader, Yes, in certain

Dear reader, Yes, in certain areas, the full Moon indeed occurred on the solstice in 1967. It is a matter of time zone. The Old Farmer’s Almanac annual periodical reflects North American time zones. (We appreciate your loyal patronage!)

In Universal Time (UT, based on time at longitude 0, around Greenwich, England, and used by many astronomers), both the full Moon and summer solstice occurred on June 22, 1967. In Pacific Daylight Time, both occurred on June 21, 1967. However, for other time zones, such as Eastern Daylight Time, they did not. (For EDT, full moon = June 22, solstice = June 21, 1967). Therefore, since the event did not occur throughout all of North America, where many of our readers reside, our astronomer did not include 1967 in his calculation of when the event last occurred.

We apologize for any confusion! Thank you for your interest in The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Sincerely, your Almanac editors

Thank - you

This site answers alot of questions. At work we were talking about the moon. It is beautiful and you have educated me and i can share it with others. Great site. You write nice too. Going back outside good night.!!

Summer Solstice and Full Moon on the same day?

The article states, "A full Moon hasn’t landed smack on the solstice since 1948.", and reported elsewhere on, "This June, 2016, the solstice and full Moon coincide—a rare event, indeed, that hasn’t happened in nearly 70 years."

Accordingly to and other widely published sources, the last Summer Solstice and Full Moon on the same day occurred in 1967, on June 22 respectively at 04:57 UTC and 02:23 UTC. Here is the article from EarthSky, with sources to document the times...

And for 1948, the Summer Solstice and Full Moon on the same day occurred on June 21 respectively at 12:10 UTC and 12:54 UTC.

So how does Bob Bermann discount the 1967 data in favor of the 1948 data?

Not really

Thanks for your comment James. The mistake you (and Earth and Sky) are making, is to not consider time zones. For most Americans and Canadians east of the Mississippi, in 1967 the Full Moon was on June 22 while the Solstice happened on June 21. And no way we’re going to ignore everyone in the Eastern Time Zone. By contrast, in 1948 the two events occurred the same day everywhere.

Moreover, as a second reason, The Old Farmers Almanac, whose astronomical data and timings are widely used, has the custom of expressing everything in EST or EDT, which surround New Hampshire where our offices are. So in our actual Almanac pages, the Full Moon and the Solstice did not coincide in 1965. But we can all agree it’s been a long time!

Yes really

Astronomer also here, actually the commenter is correct, both the solstice and the full moon times are in UTC, which are independent of timezones.

1967 Jun 22 04:58 full moon
1967 Jun 22 02:22:52 solstice.
Would you rather it in Julian dates to make it extra clear?

Time and date

Yes, please, Julian date and UTC or GMT work for me. ;-)

I work here in the states with companies from Europe to Asia, which of course spans many time zones, so it often helps in communications to have a recognized reference time/time zone.

And while I think it is typically quaint of The Old Farmer's Almanac to stick to the EST and EDT of Dublin, New Hampshire, USA, in their stories, from the perspective of an international scientific reference time standard, my point about the 1967 Summer Solstice and Full Moon - on Julian Date 173 - is hardly a "mistake". :-)

No right or wrong here

To James, Dr. Christopher, and Bruce,

     Your collective use of UT or Greenwich is not wrong. As a professional astronomer, I assure you it works for me too. What’s “wrong” is not to acknowledge that people popularly think in terms of their own local clocks – and at the Old Farmers Almanac it was decided long ago – before your great grandfathers were born – to express all celestial events using one of the US time zones. If a lunar eclipse begins at 9 PM EDT on June 3, we never list that eclipse as happening on June 4 just because it’s that date in Greenwich, England. Therefore it would have been ambiguous at best to now suddenly change that for this event. Let me add that the seeming coincidence in 1986, which ONLY happened in US time zones but not UTC, could also have generated confusion or complaints. We decided not to say “30 years ago” or “49 years ago” but instead choose the most unambiguous event – in 1948, when UTC AND the US time zones all had the full Moon and Solstice concurrence. But you’re free to think 30 or 49 if you prefer. FYI, this whole time zone business is scheduled to be fully explained on tonight’s SLOOH/Old Farmers Almanac Webcast at 8 PM EDT. Or should I say, tune in tomorrow, at 00:00 GMT?    We appreciate you reading us, and also appreciate your professional outlook.


Let's just enjoy the astronomical wonders!

Props, Bob Berman!


If the basis of a summer solstice full moon is the US Eastern Time Zone, then give the year 1986 a try.

Solstice on June 21, 1986, at 12:30 EDT

Full Moon on June 21, 1986, at 23:42 EDT

full moon and solstice

What happened to the strawberry moon/summer solstice of 1967? Did 1948 manage to travel in time? Yes it's a rare event but it happens every 49/50 yrs next time will be 2062

Not Really part Two

Hi Sharon,  Thanks so much for your comment. See my previous answer. As for “every 49 years,” no, not true, it doesn’t have any such regularity. Most often, the full Moon lands on the Solstice far more frequently than that – so this long gap was a rare curiosity, whether you include all Americans and Canadians and figure it as 68 years, or ignore those in the East and see it as 49 years. But no, no one in the US or Canada will experience this in 2062.

Monthly Haircuts

I just need to know the monthly date of when to get my hair cut so that it does not grow as fast as other dates.

june moon

HI Jane, You’re asking about the Best Days by the Moon which is astrological (versus astronomical) so allow us to step into Bob’s world and answer. Find the best days timetable here for this month and the following month on this page:

I recently noticed the sun

I recently noticed the sun changed direction when rising and setting. it now rises from the left and sets towards the right

Sun direction

Have you checked to ensure that you head is not on backwards?

full moon on solstice

Great article. Hope this doesn't bring out any crazies.

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