24 February | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Strawberry moon lights up night sky, excites viewers in Lahore, other parts

For skywatchers, strawberry moon isn’t a last chance to catch a celestial event this year. Here are full moons, supermoons, and eclipses to watch out during rest of 2023

Skywatchers in Lahore, and other parts of Pakistan enjoyed seeing illumination of a full moon that is often referred to as the Strawberry Moon due to its association with the strawberry harvesting season.

Looking at space stirs up a sense of awe, wonder, and transcendence. It can help viewers contemplate the purpose of human existence in the universe. Due to light pollution, skywatchers rarely get a chance to see an ocean of stars above their heads.

With some effort, people can still see some of the brightest stars and the moon, no matter how bright the artificial lights are. It is noted that the moon gazing can help people overcome anxiety, stress, and reconnect with the nature, which people may have forgotten amidst busy lives.

Traditionally, strawberry moon is a full moon which is typically the last of spring or the first of summer

At the beginning of every month, the skywatchers can witness a new moon that is bringing with it a unique perspective. A night between Saturday and Sunday, there were a full moon – the Strawberry Moon. This name comes from Native American tribes who used names for the full or new moons to track the seasons. It is one of the sweetest times of the year, according to the traditions.

The names are now considered more like nicknames for the moon, as these names provide a connection to the nature’s different aspects during each month. The actual appearance of the moon remains unchanged despite the fact that the skywatchers may imagine a pinkish moon when they hear Strawberry Moon due to its association with strawberries.

In the summer, the moon can sometimes appear red when it is low on the horizon. This is due to an optical illusion that makes it look larger, and the moonlight has to pass through more of Earth’s atmosphere, scattering away shorter wavelengths of light and leaving behind the longer red wavelengths that make the moon appear red.

NASA says full moon has other names such as flower moon, hot moon, honey moon, rose moon, Vat Purnima and Poson Poya

For skywatchers, the strawberry moon isn’t a last chance to catch a celestial event this year. Here are the full moons, supermoons, and eclipses to watch out during the rest of 2023. Most years have 12 full moons, but 2023 will have 13, with two happening in August.

In 2023, there are four supermoon events, including one on July 3 and September 29. It is noted that supermoons are brighter and appear larger in the sky due to closeness to Earth. An annual solar eclipse will occur on October 14, and might not be visible in Lahore on other parts of Pakistan.

On October 28, a partial lunar eclipse will be viewable in Asia and Europe, Australia, Africa, parts of North America and much of South America. In this type of event, the sun, Earth and moon don’t completely align, so only part of the moon passes into shadow. There are some meteor showers that peak this year, all of which are most visible in areas without light pollution.