June’s Full Moon on the Summer Solstice

A rare occurrence will be observed on June 20th, 2016. What is that occurrence? The summer solstice and the full moon happening at the same time. The last time this happened was in 1948.


Both the full moon and the summer solstice have some interesting facts regarding them.


The solstice facts first:

  • The solstice is the day with the most daylight minutes of the year.
  • At midday, the sun is at the highest point it is all year.
  • Sunrise and sunset are further north than at any other time of year.
  • The sun shining through a window in the morning or afternoon will cast sunrays to parts of the room that don’t get direct sunlight any other time of the year.
  • The sun takes longer to cross the sky and has a more pronounced arc than it does at any other time.
  • When the sun reaches its zenith, your shadow will be shorter than it is even the day before or the day after the solstice.


With some facts about the sun during the summer solstice covered, it is time to give some facts about the full moon in June.


The full moon rises when the sun sets this month but that isn’t the only opposite thing about it. Here are some of the other opposites.


  • While the sun rises and sets further north, the moon rises and sets further south than it does the rest of the year.
  • Even when it reaches zenith, it is still quite a bit south from when it is the rest of the year.
  • The color of the moon is more amber in June since humidity is typically higher at this time. This is why the June full moon is called the Honey Moon.


Just when is the moon at the point of exact fullness this June? Early Monday morning on June 20th is when it is completely full but it will seem just as full Sunday and Monday nights. This affords two chances to view the full moon for the summer solstice.


If you have a telescope, Monday night would be a good time to view the solstice full moon. Even if you only have a good pair of binoculars, you can still enjoy a good view of this amazing sight.

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