Look up tonight! Buck Moon will peak this evening as our lunar satellite appears full and bright in the night sky
- The Buck Moon will rise Friday, July 23 and reach its peak at 03:36 BST
- The name is in reference to the time of year when antlers of male deer grow
- In Europe it is also known as the Hay Moon for the start of summer haymaking
The July full moon, also known as a ‘Buck Moon’ as it is when antlers begin to appear on buck deer, will reach its peak this evening, appearing ‘full and bright’ in the sky.
The full moon of each month has multiple names, often dating back to native American tribes or European tradition and linked to something in nature.
July’s full moon is also known as the Thunder Moon because of the frequency of early summer thunderstorms, or the Hay Moon for haymaking in June and July.
It will reach its peak at 03:36 BST in the early hours of Saturday morning but will appear full and bright from sunset to sunrise.
The July full moon, also known as a ‘Buck Moon’ as it is when antlers begin to appear on buck deer, will reach its peak this evening, appearing ‘full and bright’ in the sky
REMAINING FULL MOONS OF 2021
This is the second full moon of the summer, rising over the sky at 21:15 BST, about 15 minutes after sunset, then setting again at 04:59 BST.
It is sometimes called the Thunder Moon because much of North America is set to experience heat lighting due to warmer temperatures.
The UK will be no different this weekend, with thunderstorms spreading north across southwest England and into south Wales overnight, the Met Office said.
There will then be heavy showers and thunderstorms throughout the south on Saturday, with the rain continuing into Sunday.
In Europe, this moon has traditionally been referred to as a ‘Hay moon’ – in a nod to the haymaking of June and July – and occasionally as a ‘Mead’ or ‘Rose’ moon, although such names are also known to be given to the previous full moon as well.
For adherents of Hinduism, it is known as the ‘Guru full moon’, and coincides with the tradition of Guru Purnima — a time in which one both clears the mind and honours gurus and spiritual masters.
In Theravada Buddhism, the Buck Moon signifies the arrival of ‘Dharma Day’ — or Asalha Puja — an important festival that celebrates Buddha’s first sermon following his enlightenment.
If possible, the best time to view the full moon is when it is close to the horizon, due to an optical illusion that makes it appear bigger due to its relative size compared to buildings, trees and other objects in the foreground.
Astronomers advise photographers to download apps and maps to track the progress of the moon across the sky, in order to make sightings easier.
Chris Grimmer, an astrophotographer for Wex, said ‘The best time to photograph the Moon is at it rises. When the Moon is low on the horizon the atmosphere makes it appear even larger and often with an orange/red hue.’
‘This also allows you to capture the Moon with objects in the foreground, allowing you to obtain some very striking photos.’
This is the second full moon of the summer, rising over the sky at 21:15 BST, about 15 minutes after sunset, then setting again at 04:59 BST
In Europe, this moon has traditionally been referred to as a ‘Hay moon’ – in a nod to the haymaking of June and July – and occasionally as a ‘Mead’ or ‘Rose’ moon, although such names are also known to be given to the previous full moon as well
Full moons occur at least once per month, and in many cultures throughout history have been used to tell the passage of time.
According to the Royal Observatory Greenwich: ‘A full Moon happens roughly every 29.5 days. This is the length of time it takes for the Moon to go through one whole lunar phase cycle.’
‘The Moon’s phases and the months of the year are inextricably linked – the word ‘month’ even takes its root from the word ‘moon’,’ they wrote.
A month was originally defined to be either 29 or 30 days, roughly equal to the 29.5-day lunar cycle. However, some of our calendar months were later padded out with extra days, in order that 12 months would make up one complete 365-day solar year.
FULL MOON NAMES AND THEIR MEANINGS
January: Wolf Moon because wolves were heard more often at this time.
February: Snow Moon to coincide with heavy snow.
March: Worm Moon as the Sun increasingly warmed the soil and earthworms became active.
April: Pink Moon as it heralded the appearance of Phlox subulata or moss pink – one of spring’s first flowers.
May: Flower Moon because of the abundance of blossoms.
June: Strawberry Moon because it appeared when the strawberry harvest first took place.
July: Buck Moon as it arrived when a male deer’s antlers were in full growth mode.
August: Sturgeon Moon after the large fish that was easily caught at this time.
September: Corn Moon because this was the time to harvest corn.
October: Hunter’s Moon after the time to hunt in preparation for winter.
November: Beaver Moon because it was the time to set up beaver traps.
December: Cold Moon because nights at this time of year were the longest.
Source: Old Farmer’s Almanac
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