July's full moon gets its nickname from the natural world

By Rachel DeSantis
July 16, 2019 01:48 PM
Bruce Bennett/Getty

The moon is going full buck!

The full moon for the month of July, often referred to as a “Full Buck Moon,” will be visible across North America Tuesday night if skies are clear.

The moon got its moniker because it occurs overhead when a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

It’s also sometimes known as a “Thunder Moon,” since July is typically chock full of thunderstorms.

The almanac uses names that originated from Native American tribes to name the moons, as they used a lunar calendar to keep track of the seasons. Colonial American and other traditional North American names are also used.

June’s moon, for example, is called the “Strawberry Moon” because when the Algonquin tribes of Native Americans who lived in Eastern North America tracked the seasons by keeping an eye on the sky, the June full moon often aligned with the best time to harvest wild strawberries in the region.

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Other celestial events’ names have similar backstories based in the natural world. May’s full moon is known as the “Flower Moon,” simply because it’s typically the month when flowers bloom. And April’s is known as the “Pink Moon” because it occurs around the peak bloom of “moss pink” or wild ground phlox — a bright pink wildflower that is one of the first flowers of spring.

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The “Full Buck Moon” will reach its peak at 5:38 p.m. EDT, according to the Almanac.

There will also be a partial lunar eclipse this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, though it will not be visible from North America.

South American, European and African skygazers can catch it in the early evening on Tuesday, while those in Asia and Australia can see it Wednesday.

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