When To See June’s Full Moon Pair Up With Saturn
The last week of June 2018 is going to be a treat for sky watchers as a “strawberry” moon will peak in the night skies, alongside our favorite ringed planet, Saturn.
Starting early morning hours of June 27, the gas giant will be closer to Earth than it will ever be throughout the year. It will sit directly opposite to the sun, giving us a rare opportunity to take a look at its bright rings and possibly a few moons. According to a report in Accuweather, the planet will rise in the east after sunset and make its way across the sky to set just around when the sun rises.
While watching Saturn brighter than normal is a celestial spectacle in itself, the show gets much better, thanks to the strawberry full moon that will rise on the night of June 27.
The name indicates the moon will take the shape or color of the famed fruit, but that’s not the case. It only gets this moniker because Algonquin tribes would use it as a signal to determine the time to gather ripening strawberries from the farm, as per the Old Farmer's Almanac. June’s full moon is also called Hot Moon, Rose Moon, Honey Moon, and Mead Moon.
That said, on the night of June 27 and till the early morning hours of the next day, the strawberry moon and Saturn will appear next to each other. The observation will vary depending upon the clarity of skies in your region, but a bright, smaller Saturn next to the moon should be easy to observe even without a telescope.
How To Watch Strawberry Moon And Saturn
Though the full moon and Saturn will be visible throughout the night, the best time to watch the duo would be around 1:00 am EDT. At this time, the moon will be at its peak and Saturn will be close enough to fit in the same camera frame.
The moon will have the same fullness all the time, but for the best experience, look for an open place like a natural park with minimal light pollution. This will make it easier to see the shining planet in a bunch of stars. Viewing with a sophisticated telescope might even reveal the rings or the some of the planet's moons like Enceladus.
“If you have never spotted Saturn's rings, now is your chance,” AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said in a statement. “A small telescope is all you need“.
That said, it is worth noting if you miss spotting Saturn on the night June 27, you will have ample amount of time to capture in the following weeks. Saturn will remain close enough for observation throughout July and August and will gradually start getting dimmer with each passing night.