July’s full moon — also known as the Buck Moon — will appear on Wednesday, July 13, at 2:37 p.m. EDT.
Of course, the moon will still be below the horizon at that exact time, so observers will have to wait until after sunset and look to the southeast to watch it rise in the sky.
The Buck Moon will appear full Tuesday morning through early Friday morning, and as a bonus, this full moon is also a supermoon.
How Did The Buck Moon Get Its Name?
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been publishing moon names for decades, and they pull the names from various Native American, Colonial American and European sources.
The Buck Moon got its name because the antlers of male deer, or bucks, are in full growth mode at this time of year. Deer lose their antlers every winter, and they regrow antlers in the summer, getting larger with every passing year.
The July full moon has gone by other names as well, including Salmon Moon, Berry Moon, Thunder Moon and more.
These names appear to have nothing in common at first, with one named after animals, another after a plant and another after the weather.
Upon closer inspection, however, all these names have one thing in common: peak summer. During the month of July, salmon swim upriver for harvesting, berries ripen and thunderstorms are most prevalent.
The Closest Supermoon Of The Year
The Buck Moon is happening during its perigee, the closest point in its orbit to Earth, which makes it a supermoon.
This supermoon is the third of four supermoons in a row, but July’s is a little more special. Although May and June were both supermoons and August will also be a supermoon, July’s supermoon is the closest supermoon of all four.
The July supermoon is only a mere 222,089 miles away, while all the other supermoons this year are anywhere between 150 to almost 3,000 miles farther away.
A supermoon appears roughly 7% larger and slightly brighter than a typical full moon, but those differences are indistinguishable by the naked eye.
For a surefire way to trick your eyes into thinking the moon looks larger, simply watch the moon as it rises above the horizon because our minds exaggerate the size of objects near the skyline.
The Buck Moon Is The First Full Moon Of Summer
Summer 2022 officially began on June 21, and June’s full moon occurred a full week before that on June 14. This makes the July full moon the first of the summer season, roughly three weeks after summer began.
In a typical year, every season sees three full moons, and this year, the full moons of summer will occur in July, August and September.
Nevertheless, the first full moon of summer is likely to be the most impressive since it’s our closest full moon of the year and the largest supermoon.
Follow meteorologist Jason Meyers on Twitter or watch one of his entertaining and educational YouTube videos.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.