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Supermoon season starts with a strawberry moon Tuesday night

Tampa Bay area skywatchers can enjoy three months of supermoons.
The moon is seen at 98 percent full as it rises Monday, June 13, 2022, in East Boston, Mass. The moon will reach its full stage on Tuesday, during a phenomenon known as a supermoon because its proximity to Earth, and it is also labeled as the "Strawberry Moon" because it is the full moon at strawberry harvest time. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The moon is seen at 98 percent full as it rises Monday, June 13, 2022, in East Boston, Mass. The moon will reach its full stage on Tuesday, during a phenomenon known as a supermoon because its proximity to Earth, and it is also labeled as the "Strawberry Moon" because it is the full moon at strawberry harvest time. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) [ CHARLIE RIEDEL | AP ]
Published Jun. 14

This week marks the beginning of a dreamy skywatcher’s summer. June, July and August will all be illuminated by a supermoon.

This month’s full moon will be closer to Earth than the average full moon. Known as the “strawberry” moon, at approximately 7:24 p.m. Tuesday it will come within 222,238 miles of Earth. That’s about 16,000 miles closer than its average distance. It will appear larger and brighter than a normal full moon.

The strawberry moon, nicknamed by Native Americans in relation to strawberry harvesting season, will hover 23.3 degrees over the horizon at 1:56 a.m. Wednesday. Because it is closer than it usually is, craters and mountains on the lunar surface can be observed through binoculars and telescopes.

Next month brings us the Buck Moon on July 13. It will be within 222,089 miles of Earth and will be the closest supermoon of the year.

A third supermoon is expected to appear around Aug. 12.

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