It may not be sweet, but it sure is mini! A rare Strawberry “Minimoon” gave night-sky photographers a treat last week.
The full moon of June , also known as the Strawberry Moon, coincided with the “smallest” moon of the year. Of course, the moon is always the same size. However, its elliptical orbit brings it closer and farther from Earth, making it appear bigger and smaller in the sky.
This infographic by astrophotographer Tony Surma-Hawes shows the apparent size difference between the “supermoon” of Nov. 14, 2016, and the “minimoon” on June 9, 2017. During a supermoon, the moon looks bigger because it is closer to Earth. A minimoon appears smaller because the moon is at its apogee, or the most distant point in its orbit.
Credit: Tony Surma-Hawes
On Friday (June 9), the moon reached its peak full phase about 15 hours after it reached apogee, or the closest point to Earth in its orbit. [10 Surprising Lunar Facts ]
In Esterhøj, Denmark, photographer and videographer Adrien Mauduit captured a time-lapse video of the Strawberry Moon rising over Esterhøj, Denmark on June 10. Bad weather delayed his photo shoot by a day, so the moon is actually 99 percent waning gibbous in the photo.
Adrien Mauduit captured this photo of the waning gibbous moon over Esterhøj, Denmark, on June 10, one day after the Strawberry Moon was at its fullest.
Other photographers juxtaposed the moon with cityscapes of New York. Stan Honda set up his camera at the Eagle Rock Reservation in New Jersey, about 13 miles (21 kilometers) from the city, and captured an airplane descending toward Newark Liberty International Airport with the World Trade Center and the Strawberry Moon in the background.
But the minimoon looks more like a supermoon in Honda’s photo. It’s not a composite, but rather a photography trick. “The lens focal length and the distance from NYC allows the moon to be large in relation to the skyline,” Honda told Space.com in an email. [Supermoon vs. Minimoon: Sizing Up Earth’s Satellite ]
As the Strawberry Minimoon rises over New York City, a British Airways plane descends toward Newark Liberty International Airport in this photo taken by Stan Honda on June 9.
Credit: Stan Honda
Another photographer from New York captured the minimoon looking more appropriately miniature. Gowrishankar L. watched the moon rise over the Brooklyn Bridge. With a Canon 5D Mark III camera, he created a composite image of the moon with 14 shots taken in 3-minute intervals between 9 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. local time on June 9, he told Space.com in an email. Using a tool called The Photographer’s Ephemeris , he set up the shot so that the moon would be on top of the bridge.
The Strawberry Minimoon rises over New York’s Brooklyn Bridge in this composite by astrophotographer Gowrishankar L. on June 9.
Credit: Gowrishankar L.
Another photo from New York City taken by astrophotographer John Entwistle shows a time-lapse of the moon rising over the World Trade Center. By stacking six images taken 125 seconds apart, Entwistle was able to capture the moon as it moved by one full diameter with each shot. “You can also see how the color of the moon changing as it rises from the horizon,” he told Space.com in an email.
The full Strawberry Moon rises over Manhattan in this photo taken by John Entwistle on June 9.
Credit: John Entwistle
Editor’s note: If you capture an amazing photo of the next full moon and want to share it with Space.com for a story or gallery, please send images and comments to managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com.