Even though the Fourth of July fireworks have come and gone, there's still reason to look up at the evening sky this month. July’s full moon, the Full Buck moon, will reach its peak at 12:07 a.m. this Friday, July 9.
Like other full moons, Native American tribes gave July's moon a seasonally-appropriate name. According to The Farmers' Almanac, July was the month when buck deer would start to visibly grow antlers. The moon is also known as the Thunder Moon because of the summer thunderstorms that are so common during July. Other tribes referred to July's moon as the Salmon Moon and the Ripe Corn Moon.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the Full Buck moon is a sign of the changing seasons, from spring to winter. According to Space.com, the Māori of New Zealand used the phrase, "Man is now extremely cold and kindles fires before which he basks," to describe this time of year. It's only appropriate that Game of Thrones, with its "Winter Is Coming" tagline, returns this month.
If you live in the southern parts of the U.S., you'll have the best views of the full moon. But anyone should chance heading outdoors in the hours leading up to and following midnight on the 9th for the gorgeous sight. You should also get clear views of Saturn when it rises slightly earlier in the evening.
The Full Buck moon is the perfect way to celebrate the fact that summer is in full swing — despite what HBO would have us believe. The moon will begin to rise around 7:31 p.m. on July 8, so find a rooftop, pop a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé, and toast to the season under its cool glow. Hopefully there won’t be any thunderstorms blocking your view.