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The June 9 full moon will be smaller, darker and farther away

The June 9 full moon will be smaller, darker and farther away
Posted at 8:46 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 07:45:48-04

(RNN) - If you plan on doing a little sky gazing Friday night, you might want to bring along a stronger pair of binoculars than usual.

The full moon on June 9 will be the smallest one this year because the familiar celestial body will be at its farthest distance from Earth.

It's been called the "mini-moon" and the "micro-moon" according to EarthSky. Of course, the moon is the same size it always is, but it appears larger and smaller during phases of the year because it does not orbit the Earth in a perfect circle. 

There's a significant distance of about 30,000 miles between its closest pass around Earth and the point where it's farthest away. 

The moon’s mean distance from the Earth is 238,855 miles. The moon’s apogee, or longest distance from the Earth, will occur on June 8, which is why the full moon of June 9 will be so underwhelming.

It's the opposite of a "super moon," which looks like it's 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger than a micro-moon, tiemanddate.com says.

The June full moon has been also called the strawberry moon, and the hot moon. The names given by Native Americans reflect the weather, and a time to pick ripening fruit, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says.

If you do cast your eyes heavenward, that star that appears close by the June 9 micro-moon will not be a star - but the planet Saturn.

For a look at the moon's surface and a full moon calendar, click here for videos from Space.com. 

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