The so-called Flower Moon peaked over the US horizon in the early hours of Wednesday before sailing across the sky to the UK by 3pm in the afternoon.
The May full moon, dubbed the Flower Moon by Native American Algonquin tribes, is said to usher in a time of fertility, warmth and blossoming flowers.
The Flower Moon is also known as the Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon.
Skywatchers who missed out on the Flower Moon are in luck because the moon will likely still appear full for a day before it begins to shrink.
When is the next full moon this year?
The next full moon to peak in the night sky will rise towards the end of next month on June 28.
The so-called Full Strawberry moon will be the seventh full moon in this year’s cycle of 13 full moons – marking the midway point.
Much like the Flower Moon before it, the Strawberry Moon can thank the Algonquin tribes for its unusual name.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, a staple guidebook on American astronomy, folklore and nature, moon phases were named to keep track of the changing seasons.
Where the May Flower Moon signalled the right time to have children, the June Strawberry Moon signalled the time was right to pick ripe wild strawberries.
Amy Nieskens of the Old Farmer’s Almanac explained: “June’s moon is known as the Full Strawberry Moon.
“Algonquin tribes knew this moon as the time to gather ripening strawberries.
“In places where strawberries aren’t native, this moon was also known as the Rose Moon and the Hot Moon.”
The June full moon has also been known as the Full Honey Moon.
How many full moons are there this year?
The moon will reach its full phase a total of 13 times this year, starting with the Wolf Moon on January 31 and ending with the December 22 Cold Moon.
Stargazers can typically expect 12 full moons a year, one for each calendar month, but once in a blue moon a second full moon will rise in the same month.
These astronomical anomalies are popularly known as Blue Moons – coining the phrase ‘one in a blue moon’.
In 2018, astronomers were treated to two Blue Moons in rapid succession – on January 31 and March 31.
Here is a list of all the named full moons this year:
- January 31 – Wolf Moon
- March 31 – Worm Moon
- April 29 – Pink Moon
- May 29 – Flower Moon
- June 28 – Strawberry Moon
- July 27 – Buck Moon
- August 26 – Sturgeon Moon
- September 24 – Full Corn Moon
- October 24 – Hunter’s Moon
- November 23 – Beaver’s Moon
- December 22 – Cold Moon