15 Breathtaking Photos From Tonight's Rare 'Strawberry Moon' Sighting

by Robert Anthony

Not only is June 20, 2016, the longest day of the year, it's also the evening when the incredibly rare "strawberry" moon sighting takes place.

According to CNBC, the spectacle in the sky appeared for the very first time since 1948. That means this special moon only makes an appearance once every half-century. The next sighting is expected to be in June of 2062.

Tonight, the evening solstice took place at around 6:34pm eastern time. The strawberry moon eventually rose to a visible height in the sky at approximately 8:41pm as east-coasters pulled their phones out to capture the magic.

So, why is it even called the strawberry moon to begin with?

After a bit of research, it turns out this special moon sighting was given its name by Native American tribes due to the fact that it typically occurs during strawberry-picking season. The main difference? The moon probably isn't as tasty.

As for the reddish, amber glow cast on the moon, that's all thanks to the sun being so high in the sky during this time of year while the moon sits at a lower viewpoint.

In a recent article published in The Old Farmer's Almanac, astronomer Bob Berman reveals,

This forces its light through thicker air, which also tends to be humid this time of year, and the combination typically makes it amber colored.

Check out 15 breathtaking photos from tonight's "strawberry" moon sighting below!

If you happened to be on the east coast around 8:30pm on June 20, you were likely able to witness the moon like never before.

This special sighting is the "strawberry" moon.

According to CNBC, this particular spectacle in the sky only happens every half-century.

That means the next time you'll be able to witness the strawberry moon is in June of 2062.

Native American tribes are said to be responsible for the moon's name after noticing the rare occurrence was only visible during strawberry-picking season.

However, strawberries have nothing to do with the moon emitting a red, vibrant glow.

So, why is it even amber-colored in the first place? The sun, which sits higher than the moon during this time of year, casts a red glow on the moon, which sits lower.

Another nickname for the strawberry moon is the "Summer of Love," according to The Washington Post.

Isn't it just beautiful?!

No matter how far away, the strawberry moon is truly stunning in every photo.

And to think, this only happens once in a generation...

2062 is a long time from now...

I guess that explains why everyone had their cameras ready for action!

Even New York City gave spectators a sight to behold.

I think it's safe to say summer is officially here.

Citations: (CNBC)