Buck Moon Eclipse On July 4–5, 2020: How, When And Where To See It

( Learn about full moons, eclipses, meteor showers and other interesting astronomical events in the stargazing app Star Walk 2. )

When is the Full Moon in July 2020?

July’s Full Moon will rise after sundown on Saturday, July 4, 2020, reach its full phase on Sunday, July 5, at 4:44 UTC (or 12:44 a.m. EDT), and adorn the sky till dawn. From almost everywhere around the world, the lunar disk will appear full to the eye on the nights of July 4, 5, and 6. July’s Full Moon, also known as the Full Buck Moon, will shine among the stars of constellations Sagittarius and Capricornus, near the bright king of planets Jupiter and the ringed planet Saturn.

(Full Buck Moon shining among the stars of Capricornus and Sagittarius, close to Jupiter and Saturn. An view from the free stargazing app Star Walk 2 for iOS and Android. )

Why is it called the Full Buck Moon?

The Full Moon in July is traditionally known as the Full Buck Moon because of the new buck’s antlers that start to grow from around this time of the year (male deers shed their antlers every year). It is also called Thunder Moon, as thunderstorms occur more frequently in July. Other names of the July’s Full Moon are Full Hay Moon and Full Wort Moon.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on July 4–5, 2020

Like last month, the Full Moon in July is accompanied by a penumbral lunar eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes through the faint, outer part of the Earth’s shadow called Earth’s penumbra. As a result, a subtle dimming of the lunar disk takes place.

Why is this lunar eclipse special?

This penumbral eclipse is the third of three eclipses in one eclipse season. An eclipse season is one of only two periods during each year when eclipses can occur. Each season lasts from 31 to 37 days. In most cases, two eclipses occur in one eclipse season, but on rare occasions, there are three eclipses. July’s lunar eclipse is this rare occasion. The last time three eclipses occurred in one season was in 2018, and the next time this will happen only in 2029.

How to see the Buck Moon Eclipse?

Penumbral lunar eclipses are very subtle celestial events to observe with the naked eye. Generally, an ordinary observer can notice the dimming of the lunar disk with unaided eyes when about 70% of the Moon’s diameter is in partial shadow. Although the penumbral lunar eclipse on July 4–5 may be rather inconspicuous to the naked eye, skywatchers have the opportunity to view a magnificent Full Buck Moon from dusk till dawn.

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