The "Strawberry Moon" and Saturn are set to thrill tonight

Skywatchers will enjoy a double treat tonight and early Thursday morning, thanks to the full "Strawberry Moon" and this year's best view of the planet Saturn. June's full moon nickname goes back thousands of years. It's called a "Strawberry Moon" because it's June appearance reminded some Native American tribes that it was the time of year to gather ripening strawberries. This June full moon is special and more colorful of any other full moon because it takes a low, shallow path across the sky. This low arc means the moons reflected light must travel through more of the Earth's atmosphere, which gives it al orange or yellowish look.

The moon's partner is this show is the planet Saturn. The ringed planet will be closer to the Earth than any other time of the year. It's brighter and of course visible to the naked eye all night long, rising in the East at sunset and slowly making its way across the sky. To see Saturn's famous rings you'll need a telescope. If you can track one down now's your best chance to see them for yourself.

Over the last year or so, I've passed along some recommend locations to take in previous "Super Moons", meteor showers, and other celestial happenings. Many of these took place during the colder times of the year. Tonights "Strawberry Moon" & Saturn event is happening on the night one of 2018's hottest days. Getting out at tonight will be much more comfortable and the kids are out of school so they can stay up late to take in the show. The local weather forecast is calling for clear skies. Grab a telescope or a pair of binoculars and head out of town away from the city lights. The Colorado National Monument, atop the Grand Mesa, a camping outing to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, or any secluded location will do the trick.

Credit: 9News

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