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!
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).
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.
Moon Phases for July 2020
Note that the Moon phase dates/times below are in EDT.
See our Moon Phase Calendar to customize dates and times to your location.
|Full Moon: July 5, 12:44 A.M. EDT|
|Last Quarter: July 12, 7:29 P.M. EDT|
|New Moon: July 20, 1:33 P.M. EDT|
|First Quarter: July 24, 9:18 P.M.|
For the next full Moon, see our Full Moon Dates chart.
July’s Full Buck Moon Video
In this video, we explain the traditional names of the Full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. Learn about the Full Buck Moon, why July is such an important month in Moon history, and how scientists measure the distance from Earth to the Moon. Click below to watch the video.
Best Days in July 2020
Below are the best days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in July.
|Cutting Hay||11, 12|
|Setting Eggs||6, 7|
- On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the Moon. He also placed the U.S. flag there.
- On July 31, 1999, the ashes of astrogeologist Eugene Shoemaker were deposited on the Moon.
We leave you with a poem by James N. Matthews (1852–1910):
A moon-flooded prairie; a straying
Of leal-hearted lovers; a baying
Of far away watching dogs; a dreaming
Of brown-fisted farmers; a gleaming
Of fireflies eddying nigh, —
And that is July!
Share your thoughts about this month’s Moon below!