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July 15, 2019

July's Buck Moon is the first full moon of summer: Here's what you need to know

The celestial event coincides with 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing

Space Moon
Buck Moon eclipse July 16 PA Images/Sipa USA

The July full moon is known as the Buck Moon. It takes place July 16 and coincides with a partial lunar eclipse and the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 astronauts landing on the moon. Pictured above in the is the June full moon seen in the United Kingdom.

Calling all space nerds! 

The first full moon of the summer will appear Tuesday afternoon and features a partial lunar eclipse. 

The special lunar event represents the onslaught of early summer and is named after a male deer, which typically are growing their antlers in mid-July. Oh, and this month's celestial occurrence will also coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11's journey to the moon. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Buck Moon.

What time will the moon be visible?

The full moon will be visible starting Tuesday afternoon, when it's fully behind the earth so the sun can illuminate it. Scientists say that technically, the moon is not completely "full" until it's exactly 180 degrees from the sun. This month, that will happen on 5:38 p.m. on Tuesday. 

It will appear full for about three days — through Thursday morning, according to NASA. 

There will also be two new moons rising this month. The first rose on July 2, and the second will be on July 31. 

Why is it called a Buck Moon?

According to NASA, Native American names for the moons began to appear in the Farmer's Almanac in the 1930s. In the almanac, the first full moon of the summer was identified by the Algonquin tribes (in what's now the eastern U.S. along the Atlantic Coast) as the Buck Moon because new antlers of male bush deer are in full growth mode at this time.

It can also be called the Thunder Moon, because of this month's frequent thunderstorms.

The almanac also says that July 16 is the best day to begin logging, set posts, or pour concrete.

And the July 16 full moon carries a lot of historical meaning this year, too. Fifty years ago, on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, carrying Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. Armstrong would become the first person to walk on the moon four days later, joined by Aldrin as the second man.

Will there be a lunar eclipse?

A partial lunar eclipse will occur on July 16, beginning at 2:43 p.m. and lasting until 8:17 p.m., with most visibility around 5:30 p.m. 

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth's shadow blocks the sun's light, which usually reflects off the moon. According to NASA, the Earth will experience 228 lunar eclipses during the 21st century. Looks like we'll have to wait until January 2020 to see a penumbral (or the least exciting kind of eclipse) in North America.

The bad news: The eclipse will be visible from basically every continent except North America.

The good news: You can still stream it online if you're interested in taking a look.


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