A partial lunar eclipse in June 2010. Credit: Jared Aicher of Boise, Idaho
On June 4th, 2012, there's going to be a full Moon. According to Native American folklore it’s the Strawberry Moon, so-called because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during the month of June.
This Strawberry’s going to have a bite taken out of it.
At 3:00 am Pacific Daylight Time, not long before sunrise on Monday, June 4th, the Moon passes directly behind our planet. A broad stretch of lunar terrain around the southern crater Tycho will fall under the shadow of Earth, producing the first lunar eclipse of 2012. At maximum eclipse, around 4:04 am PDT, 37% of the Moon's surface will be in the dark.
Because only a fraction of the Strawberry Moon is shadowed, astronomers call this apartial eclipse. But it's totally beautiful.
The eclipse is visible in North and South America, Australia, eastern parts of Asia and all across the Pacific Ocean. On the Atlantic side of the United States, the eclipse occurs just as the Moon is setting in the west--perfect timing for the Moon illusion.
Provided by Science@NASA