Forget the fireworks! This year, watch the full Buck Moon rise on the 4th of July instead! Find out why July’s full Moon is called the Buck Moon and learn about the penumbral eclipse that will occur on this date.
WHEN TO SEE THE FULL MOON IN JULY 2020
Full Buck Moon on the 4th
July’s full Moon will rise after sunset in the evening of Saturday, July 4, before reaching peak illumination at 12:44 A.M. Eastern Time on Sunday, July 5. Look towards the southeast to watch it rise above the horizon. How fun for our bright satellite to join Independence Day fireworks in the night sky!
Consult our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator to see when the Buck Moon will be visible in your area!
WHY IS IT CALLED THE FULL BUCK MOON?
Traditionally, the full Moon in July is called the Buck Moon because a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode at this time. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.
The tradition of naming Moons is rich in history. Here at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we have long honored the Native American Moon names and the folklore of those who came before us. We follow the full Moon names that were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons—usually by the Algonquin people who were prominent along the Atlantic Coast and into the interior along the St. Lawrence River and around the Great Lakes.
Watch (Very) Closely for a Penumbral Eclipse
Like last month, this month’s full Moon brings with it a penumbral eclipse, which occurs when the Moon crosses through the faint outer edge of Earth’s shadow (the penumbra), making part of the Moon appear ever-so-slightly darker than usual. Unlike a full lunar or solar eclipse, the visual effect of a penumbral eclipse is usually so minimal that it can be difficult to perceive at all. For this eclipse, only a small portion of the Moon will cross into the penumbra, making it even more difficult to see.
This eclipse will be visible from most of North America, except in the northernmost regions of Canada and Alaska. It will begin at 11:04 P.M. EDT (8:04 P.M. PDT) on July 4 and end at 1:56 A.M. EDT on July 5 (10:56 P.M. PDT on July 4).