Summer has arrived!……………. hopefully!

We are all asking the same question, has Summer has finally arrived?

After weeks of dreary weather, it won’t just be pagans celebrating summer’s arrival today. The summer solstice today will give Britons their longest day of the year and shortest night, with a full 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight in London.

At 21:51 BST this evening, the Northern Hemisphere will be at its most tilted towards the sun, marking the exact peak of the astronomical summer. But this year summer has arrived almost a full day early, with today marking the earliest solstice since 1796.

This summer solstice comes with a treat: A full strawberry moon. Here’s how to see it

Skywatchers will start their summer off with a treat – a full strawberry moon. It will occur on Thursday at 4:50 p.m. EDT.  And sorry to disappoint, but the moon won’t be a vibrant shade of red, but a lovely shade of gold.

When Is The 2024 Strawberry Moon in the UK?
Appearing from tonight, June 20, 2024, the Strawberry Moon will reach its peak at 22 June at 2.08am in the UK according to the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The moon will continue to appear brightly over the weekend.

The full moon will also appear noticeably larger and lower in the sky since the summer solstice falls during the sun’s yearly maximum. This is what the Old Farmers’ Almanac refers to as the “Moon Illusion.”

Why is it called the strawberry moon?
According to the Almanac, the name “strawberry moon” was given its name by the Native American Algonquian tribes who lived in the northwestern U.S. The Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota tribes also used the name to mark the full moon to the harvesting of wild strawberries in June.

Where & When To See It
While the full moon peaks on Saturday night, the best time to witness this lunar marvel is shortly after sunset, at around 11pm, when the moon rises above the eastern horizon, casting its glow across the landscape. Just after sunset is when the moon appears largest in the sky, so if you’re making the most of the warm summer evenings with a night out, cast your eyes to the sky as you make your way home.

Areas away from city lights and light pollution will offer the best views, such as parks, open fields, or the countryside, where the eastern horizon is unobstructed. Locations like Edinburgh or cities and countryside across northern England are predicted to have excellent viewing conditions.

What Does The Strawberry Moon Symbolise?
The Strawberry Moon holds a spiritual meaning, rooted in the Native American traditions of reverence and respect for the natural world. It symbolises a time of new potential, renewal, and abundance, so it is a chance for us to reassess our intentions for the rest of the year ahead, and reflect on the abundance in our lives. The Strawberry Moon is also believed to deepen connections and foster meaningful communication, so choose your viewing partner with intention.