Summer Solstice Full Moon in June!

July 20, 2017
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!

About This Blog

Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s hub for everything stargazing and astronomy. 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, he covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob, the world’s mostly widely read astronomer, also has a new weekly podcast, Astounding Universe

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