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Strawberry Moon, Saturn June 27 and 28

These next few nights – June 27 and 28, 2018 – find the Strawberry Moon in the vicinity of the planet Saturn in the southeastern sky at nightfall. Then, at the month’s end, watch for the waning gibbous moon to pair up with the red planet Mars.

As our Earth turns underneath the heavens, the Strawberry Moon and Saturn will move westward across the nighttime sky. The twosome will climb highest up for the night around midnight, and will sit low in the west at dawn on June 28 and 29. In North America, we commonly call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon.

This year’s Strawberry Moon turns precisely full on June 28, 2018, at 4:53 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), to showcase the moon reaching its full phase less than one day after Saturn reaches opposition. Although the full moon occurs at the same instant worldwide, the clock reading varies by time zone. At the Eastern Time Zone in the United States, the moon turns precisely full on June 28 at 12:53 a.m. EDT. Yet, at all the U.S. time zones to west of the Eastern Time Zone, the moon turns precisely full this evening – on Wednesday, June 27 – at 11:53 p.m. CDT, 10:53 p.m. MDT, 9:53 p.m. PST, 8:53 p.m. AKDT (Alaska Daylight Time) and 6:53 p.m. HST (Hawaiian Standard Time).

So the date of the June 2018 full moon depends on your time zone. From the most of the contiguous United States, the moon turns full on the evening of June 27. From Portugal and the western portions of Africa, the instant of full moon occurs before sunrise June 28. For Asia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and the most of Europe, the moon turns full during the daylight hours on June 28, at which time the sun is above the horizon and the moon is below it. See the worldwide map below.

Click here to know when the precise instant that the moon turns full in your sky, remembering to check the moon phases box.

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Image via the US Naval Observatory. Day and night sides of Earth at the instant of the June 2018 full moon (2018 June 28 at 4:53 Universal Time). The shadow line at left depicts sunset June 27 and the shadow line at right represents sunrise June 28.

This year, in 2018, Saturn reaches opposition on June 27, at 13 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), and the moon turns full some 16 hours later, on June 29, at 4:53 UTC. Since Saturn’s opposition and the full moon occur in close proximity in 2018, the night of June 27-28 features the moon and Saturn together all night long.

Bottom line: At dusk and early evening on June 27 and 28, 2018, look for the full-looking moon – called the Strawberry Moon in North America – low in the southeast, pairing up with the ringed planet Saturn on the great dome of sky.

A planisphere is virtually indispensable tool for beginning stargazers. Order your EarthSky planisphere from our store.

Bruce McClure