Full Moon in July 2023: Buck Moon

Star Walk
5 min readJun 30


On July 3, at 11:39 GMT (7:39 a.m. EDT), the Moon will reach its full phase. It will arrive at its closest point to the Earth several hours earlier. This will make it look 5.8% bigger and shine 12.8% brighter than a regular Full Moon.

When is the July Full Moon?

A Full Moon occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. That’s why it rises around sunset and sets just before dawn, so generally, we can only see the exact moment of the full phase in the night part of the Earth. On July 3, the Moon will reach the full phase at 11:39 GMT (7:39 a.m. EDT); check with Sky Tonight if it is above the horizon by that time in your location.

What constellation is the July Full Moon in?

The Full Moon in July 2023 will be in the constellation Sagittarius, which belongs to the zodiac family. Throughout the night, the lunar disc will move around the Teapot asterism. Use Sky Tonight to learn the exact Full Moon location in the sky.

How long does a Full Moon last?

Astronomically speaking, the exact moment of the Full Moon is short. It happens when the Moon is fully illuminated by the Sun. But the Moon will seem full to the observers the day before or after this moment; the lunar disk will be more than 98% illuminated. So, don’t worry if you miss the exact moment of the full phase — you can still enjoy the Full Moon in the sky!

Supermoon July 2023

The Full Moon in July 2023 is a Supermoon. According to the calculations of the former NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak, it’s the first Super Full Moon this year. The Full Moon will be 361,934 km from the Earth (for comparison, the average distance between the Moon and the Earth is 384,400 km or 238,855 miles). The closer our natural satellite comes to the Earth, the bigger and brighter it appears in the sky.

What is a Supermoon?

A Supermoon is a Full or New Moon at or near (within 90% of) the closest approach to the Earth in a given orbit. Since we can’t see a New Moon in the sky, the hype is all about the Super Full Moons. You can learn more about this topic in our infographic.

The number of Supermoons in a year may vary depending on what method — astrological or astronomical — you choose to define them. In the first case, use the table made by the Supermoon term creator, the American astrologer Richard Nolle. In the second case, check the one provided by former NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak. The dates of Supermoons in the two calendars do not always coincide: the same Full Moon may be considered a Supermoon by Nolle and not by Espenak, and vice versa. In our article about Supermoons, we explained in detail why this happens.

How to observe July Supermoon 2023?

The Super Full Moon will be seen all night long if the weather is good and no obstacles hinder your view. You can easily observe it with the naked eye or take a pair of binoculars or a small telescope to explore its craters. If you decide to use optics, better take filters because the Moon will be pretty bright — it won’t harm your eyes, but the shadows on the lunar surface will get fainter. Also, use the app Sky Tonight to find out the exact time and properties of the Full Moon for your location. If you want to take a stunning photo of this month’s Supermoon, the app Ephemeris will help you set up the composition by showing you how the lunar disk will look in a chosen location.

Will the July Supermoon 2023 look extraordinarily big?

The July 2023 Supermoon will be 5.8% larger and 12.8% more luminous than a typical Full Moon. It’s worth noting that the next Supermoon on August 1, 2023, will be even bigger and brighter, with a 7.1% size increase and a 15.6% brightness increase.

If you take two pictures of the Full Moons at the closest and farthest points from the Earth with the same camera settings, you’ll see the size difference. But in the sky, we don’t have the second Moon to compare, so it’s tough to notice that the Moon is bigger than usual. It’s still fun to observe, but don’t get your hopes up about seeing the enormous lunar disk.

There is another way to see a bigger Full Moon, even if it’s not close to the Earth. Due to the trick of our brains called the Moon illusion, the lunar disk seems larger when it’s close to the horizon. The Moon hangs low in the sky in the summer months, so the lunar disk will look bigger in the Northern Hemisphere in July. Also, enjoy the big Full Moon when it rises and sets — right after sunset or before dawn.

Will the July Supermoon 2023 look orange?

The July Supermoon will be closer to the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere, so it won’t only look bigger but also may change color. When the Moon is low, its light passes through more air, so it can look orange, pink, or red — the same effect causes our beautiful sunsets. Enjoy the view at the moonrise or moonset to see the intense color.

When is the next Supermoon 2023?

The next Supermoon will occur on August 1, 2023, at 18:31 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT). It is listed in both astrological and astronomical Supermoon calendars.

What is the July Full Moon called?

In different cultures, Full Moons often receive names that reflect the peculiarities of a particular season. For example, the July Full Moon is sometimes called the Halfway Summer Moon because it rises in the middle of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Its other common name is Thunder Moon because of the frequent thunderstorms in July.

Full Buck Moon

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the popular Native American name for the July Full Moon is the Buck Moon. The young male deer (bucks) are sprouting new antlers this time of the year. By the end of July, most bucks’ antlers are fully formed, and the hardening process begins.

July Full Moon alternative names

Here are some other July Full Moon names coined by different cultures:

- Chinese: Hungry Ghost Moon;
- Celtic: Moon of Claiming;
- Wiccan: Mead Moon;
- Cherokee: Ripe Corn Moon;
- Southern Hemisphere: Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Ice Moon.

When is the next Buck Moon?

The Buck Moon is the traditional name for the Full Moon in July, so the next Buck Moon will occur on July 21, 2024, at 10:17 GMT (6:17 a.m. EDT).

When is the next Full Moon 2023?

The next Full Moon is on August 1, 2023, at 18:31 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT). It will also be a Supermoon. Find the whole list of the Full Moons in 2023 with their traditional names in our infographic.

Bottom line

The Full Moon will occur on July 3 at 11:39 GMT (7:39 a.m. EDT). Native Americans call it the Buck Moon, because, in July, the young male deer (bucks) are sprouting new antlers. This year, the Full Moon in July will also be a Supermoon, which means it will look bigger and brighter than a regular Full Moon. To learn when the next Full Moon is, check our Full Moon calendar 2023.



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