July Full Moon 2023: When is the full moon, what does the Buck Moon mean and will it be a supermoon?
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July’s full moon will appear in the night sky this week as stargazers across the UK prepare to catch a glimpse of the special occasion. The uniquely named ‘Buck Moon’ will be the seventh full moon of the year and the first ‘supermoon’.
The Moon appears as different shapes in the sky depending on its ‘phase’, from new Moon to full Moon via ‘waxing’ (growing) and ‘waning’ (shrinking) moons. These phases are determined by the relative positions of the Sun, Earth and Moon.
Royal Museums Greenwich explains where the anime Buck Moon comes from. They say: “Male deer, which shed their antlers every year, begin to regrow them in July, hence the Native American name for July’s full moon. Some refer to this moon as the thunder moon, due to the summer storms in this month. Other names include the hay moon, after the July hay harvest.”
So, when will you be able to see the Buck Moon? Here’s everything you need to know about the celestial event.
When is the next full moon?
The next full moon on July 3 will peak at 12.38pm in the UK, and is sometimes known as a ‘Buck Moon’. The Old Farmer’s Almanac said there will be 13 full moons throughout the year. These are listed below.
- January 6: Wolf moon
- February 5: Snow moon
- March 7: Worm moon
- April 6: Pink moon
- May 5: Flower moon
- June 3: Strawberry moon
- July 3: Buck moon
- August 1: Sturgeon moon
- August 30: Blue moon
- September 29: Harvest moon
- October 28: Hunter’s moon
- November 27: Beaver moon
- December 26: Cold moon
Will the Buck Moon be a supermoon?
The Buck Moon will not only be July’s first supermoon but the first of 2023. After July, the next supermoon will rise on Tuesday, August 1 in the form of the Full Sturgeon Moon.
Royal Museums Greenwich explains how a supermoon comes to be, saying: “the distance between the Moon and the Earth varies, because the Earth is not right at the centre of the Moon’s orbit and the Moon’s orbit is not a circle (it’s an ellipse). The moment when the Moon is closest to the Earth is called a lunar perigee.
“When the Moon is furthest away it is known as a lunar apogee. If the lunar perigee occurs very close to a full moon, then we see a supermoon. If a lunar apogee occurs very close to a full moon then we see a micromoon.”
Top Stargazing Tips
Stargazing is easy, you just go outside and look up at the night sky, but to get the most spectacular views, there are a few rules you should follow. The best tip is finding a dark-sky site, and checking the weather forecast before going. Light pollution can often affect how much of the night sky occurrences we see, even more so, cloudy weather conditions make it more difficult to see the stars beyond.
If you are unable to get to a designated dark-sky site, find the least illuminated spot you can where you can see the horizon. Stargazing is such a popular hobby for amateurs and professionals alike, it’s likely there is a club near you, or you may have friends with a similar interest. Finding a buddy or club to join on the cold dark nights is always helpful, and one of the best ways to stay safe when stargazing.