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Strawberry Moon, bright Venus highlight busy celestial weekend

Saturday should provide the best viewing due to increasing cloud cover on Sunday night.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The early June night sky will be illuminated by two celestial phenomenon this weekend - the Strawberry Moon and the best viewing opportunities of Venus this year.

Venus will be the highest level in the sky this weekend, making it appear like a bright star in the night sky.

"You may have noticed a bright looking “star” in the night sky just after dusk recently. Well, it’s not a 'star,' but rather Venus, Earth’s sister planet. This weekend, on June 4, Venus will be at its highest point in the sky, leading to a spectacular evening of viewing," according to NASA.

Even though it is at its maximum height on June 4, it will be high in the night sky through early June. To view the second planet from the sun, look to the west/northwest during the twilight and early evening hours. Just to the left and slightly above, the soft red glow of Mars will be visible as well.

While Venus is rising high into the sky, a full moon known as a "Strawberry Moon" will peak - but don't expect to see a bright, pink or red moon lighting up the night sky.

This “Strawberry Moon” name has been used by Native American Algonquian tribes that live in the northeastern United States as well as the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples to mark the ripening of “June-bearing” strawberries that are ready to be gathered, according to Farmers Almanac

The moon will rise in the east and will stay relatively low in the sky. A full moon happens when the moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, according to space.com.

The skies will be much clearer on Saturday rather than Sunday across Northern California when clouds are supposed to build in that evening.


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