Watch the Buck Moon Lunar Eclipse in the Sky on the Fourth of the July

published Jun 30, 2020
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It’s common to incorporate sparklers and fireworks into your Fourth of July celebrations. This year, you can add watching the Buck Moon lunar eclipse into the mix. 

On July 4 (and, depending on your time zone, July 5), you can see July’s full moon—also known as the Buck Moon—and, in some parts of the world, witness a penumbral lunar eclipse. While everyone will be able to see the full moon, those located in South/West Europe, parts of North and West Africa, parts of North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica have a chance of seeing the eclipse.

Like many moons, the “buck” nickname taps into a natural occurrence that historically happens during the month—in this case, when a male deer grows his new antlers. After mating season, deers usually shed their antlers, and with the warmer weather comes the sprouting of new bones. A natural phenomenon that calls for a moon to be named after it, I’d say.

Now, a little bit more about the event that’s happening in the sky. In addition to the full moon, the geographic locations mentioned above will have a chance of witnessing a penumbral lunar eclipse. This kind of lunar eclipse happens when the sun, earth, and moon are all in alignment. The earth prevents some of the sun’s light from hitting the moon, covering all or part of the moon with its shadow and creating the eclipse.

As a result of this, the moon might appear slightly darker to those observing the night sky. But regardless of your location or the level of lightness you see, expect to experience the moon in its fullest form.