This Monday brings the summer solstice, which marks the beginning of the season and a chance to soak in copious amounts of sunshine.
This year’s solstice will be extra special, as it will coincide with a full moon in a rare event that hasn’t been seen in nearly 70 years.
The solstice is celebrated by a variety of cultures worldwide. Every year, thousands gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, to rejoice the prospect of sunny summer days.
Monday will also feature a full “Strawberry” moon — the name comes from the belief that strawberry-picking season is at its peak during this time of the year, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
The last time such an alignment — the summer solstice and a full moon — occurred was in 1948, the Baltimore Sun reported, citing the Almanac.
Monday’s full moon, which is also called the Mead Moon or the Rose Moon, is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all evening long. Normally, throughout the June month, the moon shares some time with the daytime sky, according to Sky & Telescope.
On June 20, the summer sun will reach its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude. For North American time zones this event happens at 6:34 p.m. EDT, 5:34 p.m. CDT, 4:34 p.m. MDT, and 3:34 p.m. PDT, Sky & Telescope reports.
Some online calculators can help you figure out when sunrise and sunset will happen in your area.
This time of year is celebrated not only in different cultures, but also in literature.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer,” author F. Scott Fitzgerald writes in “The Great Gatsby.”