Strawberry Moon Eclipse A Week Away
May 30, 2012

Strawberry Moon Eclipse A Week Away

Lee Rannals for

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A strawberry moon may sound like a delicious dessert to some, but for astronomers it´s a dish that will fulfill their lunar eclipse appetite next Monday.

At 3:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on June 4, the Moon will pass directly behind the Earth, producing the first lunar eclipse of 2012.

The eclipse will be visible in North and South America, Australia, eastern parts of Asia, and across the Pacific Ocean.

The Strawberry Moon is actually an event that takes place every year, and is the full moon that takes place in June.

According to Native American folklore, it is the Strawberry Moon because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during the month of June.

The Strawberry Moon eclipse will be a partial eclipse, leading only to a fraction of the moon being shadowed by Earth.

The moon will seem extra large to U.S. observers east of the Mississippi, because it will be low hanging.

Next week's eclipse is not the only special astronomy event taking place.  On June 5, the day following the Strawberry Moon, Venus will pass between the Sun and Earth, creating a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.

The Transit of Venus will start on Tuesday, June 5 at 5:09 p.m. Central Time, and will last for seven hours.

The 2012 transit is the second of an 8-year pair, the first occurring back in June 2004.  No one alive during the transit eight-years ago had been around to have seen a Transit of Venus before.  The next transit will not be until December 2117, and 2125.

With the solar eclipse a few weeks ago, the Strawberry Moon eclipse, and the transit of Venus, don't get spoiled into thinking these events take place this often and so close together.  Take advantage of the unique opportunities to observe these celestial events, before it´s too late.