Fireworks won’t be the only bright objects lighting the sky this month. The next full moon will appear on the morning of Monday, July 3, although it will seem full for up to three days.
The July full moon is also called the “Full Buck Moon,” according to the Farmers’ Almanac, as this is the time of year when male deer antlers are in full growth. Alternatively, the Haida and Tlingit Indian Tribes of Alaska referred to the July full moon as the “Salmon Moon,” as it was a time of significant salmon migration. Perhaps you have heard the phrase describing corn fields as growing to “knee-high by fourth of July?” The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians would refer to the July full Moon as the “Corn in Tassel Month,” due to the growth cycle of the crop.
This will be the first full Moon of the summer season and the first full Moon after the Summer Solstice. Lunar enthusiasts will have two super opportunities for full-Moon gazing in August – the Sturgeon Supermoon and the Blue Supermoon.
As the moon transitions to third quarter, Earth’s next brightest neighbor, Venus, will reach its greatest illuminated extent. Around July 7, Venus will reach apparent magnitude – 4.6. For reference, a full Moon, the second brightest celestial object after the Sun, has an apparent magnitude up to –12.6 and the faintest star you can see with your eye has a magnitude of +7.2.
Finally, wrap up the month by sharing some lunar love on International Moon Day July 20 next time on Watch the Skies!
Sky enthusiasts, start off summer by witnessing two extraordinary celestial events in June – the Full Strawberry Moon and the summer solstice. These events hold both historical and cultural significance.
The Full Strawberry Moon, depending on one’s time zone, will illuminate the night sky on June 3. Although the exact moment of full moon occurs when the Moon is opposite the Earth from the Sun, its full appearance will extend for about a day before and after the event. Remember to bring binoculars or a telescope to see all of the details of the Moon’s craters and other lunar features.
The name “Full Strawberry Moon” originated from the Algonquin tribes in the northeastern United States. This full moon occurred during the month of June when strawberries were ripening and ready to be harvested. The name “Strawberry Moon” has been passed down through generations and continues to be used by many today.
Later in the month on June 21, the summer solstice will mark the beginning of the astronomical summer and the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, and the start of winter and the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere. This change in season is due to the 23.5-degree tilt of the Earth’s axis compared to its orbit around the sun, allowing the most direct sunlight to reach the Northern Hemisphere this month.
Throughout history, this celestial event has played a crucial role in various civilizations, shaping their calendars, traditions, and agricultural practices. Farmers would rely on the June Solstice to determine when to plant and harvest crops. The solstice’s timing influenced the development of many calendars, such as the ancient Roman calendar and the modern Gregorian calendar.