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Summer solstice coincides with ‘strawberry moon’

A “strawberry moon,” as seen Monday night in Somerset, England.
A “strawberry moon,” as seen Monday night in Somerset, England.(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — If the extreme heat baking much of the country wasn’t enough of an indicator of summer’s arrival, Mother Nature made it official Monday evening when the summer solstice marked the start of the season.

In the United States, summer began at 6:34 p.m. on the East Coast.

‘‘The Earth has arrived at a point around the sun that we receive the most sunlight,’’ said Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at The Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia.

Monday is the day that the Northern Hemisphere sees more hours of daylight than any other.

The days will begin to get measurably shorter next week. The number of hours of daylight will continue to shrink until Dec. 21, the winter solstice.

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A full moon also coincides with Monday’s solstice. June’s full moon has traditionally been nicknamed the strawberry moon, a name Pitts said alludes to strawberry harvest season.

The moon will appear low in the sky for much of the night and could take on an amber hue because of atmospheric conditions.

Photos of the strawberry moon:

People celebrated the summer solstice with a strawberry moon at Stonehenge.
People celebrated the summer solstice with a strawberry moon at Stonehenge.(Kieran Doherty/REUTERS)
The moon as seen near Nagykanizsa, about 130 miles southwest of Budapest, Hungary.
The moon as seen near Nagykanizsa, about 130 miles southwest of Budapest, Hungary.(SZILARD GERGELY/European Pressphoto Agency)
A bird sat on a branch with the strawberry moon as a backdrop in Germany.
A bird sat on a branch with the strawberry moon as a backdrop in Germany. (PATRICK PLEUL/European Pressphoto Agency)