Eyes up, sky nerds, we’re in for a real treat this weekend with the moon putting on a hell of a show right before the winter solstice. Cross your fingers for clear skies and perfect conditions, so you can get a good look at the partial lunar eclipse and a blushing full ‘strawberry moon’ over Friday night and the wee hours of Saturday morning.
As the moon kicks into its last full moon phase from around 5am on Saturday morning, it’ll also be going through a partial ‘penumbral’ eclipse, which means it’ll only be a little bit fainter than usual.
The subtle eclipse kicks off in the wee hours of the morning (3.45am on the east coast) so if you’ve been wanting to chuck an all-nighter, Friday night is a good reason to. If you want to stay snuggled inside and out of the chilly temperatures, the eclipse peaks at around 5.24am just after the moon is also at its fullest, and then winds up around 7.04am.
So what does the ‘strawberry moon’ mean? Sadly it’s not a moon-based return by Nikki Webster, but instead, it’s because the moon’s gonna be sitting real close to a red supergiant star called ‘Antares’. It’s the brightest star in the Scorpio constellation, and responsible for turning our moon a blushing pink hue to kick off the long weekend. It also traditionally coincides with wild strawberry season in the Northern Hemisphere, and is opposing the Sun (which is currently in Gemini).
Visually, it’s a berry good treat, but oof I can feel the wild energies of this trio of moon-based happenings simmering away already.
So plan your times right, get your peepers out and into the skies, and see if you can spot that gorgeous pink moon on Friday night, and watch as it dips into a darker hue from 3.45am on Saturday morning before going into its final full moon before the longest night of the year.
And yes I’m re-watching ‘Strawberry Kisses’ just in case.