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Magical Full Buck Moon will brighten US Independence Day sky

22:56 | 03/07/2020

Independence Day fireworks may be called off in some parts of the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic; but Buck Moon, often known as July’s full moon will brightly shine even as it graces us with an almost invisible lunar eclipse to complete the Independence Day.

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The lunar show begins in the evening of US Independence Day and ends during the early morning hours of Sunday, July 5. It will be perceptible across most of North and South America including the lower 48 and Hawaii, but not Alaska as well as parts of southwestern Europe and Africa, according to the Live Science.

According to the Earth Sky, there are three kinds of lunar eclipses: a total eclipse, a partial eclipse, and a penumbral eclipse. However, “This third kind of lunar eclipse (penumbral) is much more subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than either a total or partial eclipse of the moon. Therefore, very observant people will notice something strange happening on the moon, even while not knowing an eclipse is taking place.”

magical full buck moon will brighten us independence day sky
The moon rises behind a flag on Liberty Island in New York City on July 9 2017 as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo: Gary Hershorn

A partial penumbral eclipse occurs when Earth is between the sun and a full moon. Eclipses start when Earth's shadow falls on the moon, but in this case, the moon won't be passing through Earth's dark, inner shadow, known as the umbra. Instead, on July 4 the buck moon will go through Earth's outer, lighter shadow, known as the penumbra.

It is reported by the NASA that this weekend's partial penumbral eclipse will appear as if a mouse took a small, dim bite out of the northern edge of the full moon. This "bite" may be hard to see with the naked eye, so astronomy lovers need telescopes or binoculars to see the full effect.

magical full buck moon will brighten us independence day sky
The nearly full moon is seen in July 2019 from Beach Haven, New Jersey. Photo: Steve Novak | For lehighvalleylive.com

The Old Farmer’s Almanac attributes the name Full Buck Moon to the Algonquin peoples who lived here when European settlers arrived. Local peoples would name the entire month after the moon with an epithet describing what tends to happen in nature that time of year, informed the MSN.

magical full buck moon will brighten us independence day sky
A view of the moon during a Lunar Eclipse, on January 10, 2020, in New Delhi, India Photo: Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times

The July full moon is known as Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Guru Moon, and Dharma Day, according to NASA.

Like its name, it will be exceedingly bright. The full moon will rise after sunset on Saturday and reach peak illumination at 12:44 a.m. EDT on Sunday, the Old Farmer’s Almanac unveiled.

“The moon will emerge fully for about three days around the eclipse, from Friday evening into Monday morning, making this a full Moon weekend,” NASA said in a statement.

magical full buck moon will brighten us independence day sky
An elk pauses in front of the full moon at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. (Photo: Neal Herbert/National Park Service)

“In the U.S., you can look up the buck moon after or during any 4th of July fireworks display you might be attending,” added the space site. “This year, the moon won’t be alone. Jupiter and Saturn are also slated to snuggle with Earth’s satellite. Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon will be putting on a show, too.”

magical full buck moon will brighten us independence day sky
A lunar eclipse will be visible on the fourth of July Photo: Jesus Merida

According to the Forbes, on July 4, in New York, the “Buck Moon” will appear at 8:23 p.m. EDT on July 4 (sunset is just 8 minutes later) and in Los Angeles, it will be visible at 8:06 p.m. PDT on July 4 (sunset is just 2 minutes later).

Meanwhile, on July 5, in New York, it will appear at 5:42 a.m. EDT, July 5 (11 minutes after sunrise) and in Los Angeles, it will appear at 6:08 a.m. PDT, July 5 (21 minutes after sunrise, so don’t forget to be in position before it fades).

The next full moon—minus any kind of eclipse—will be the “Sturgeon Moon” (North America) or “Grain Moon” (the British name) on August 3, 2020, Forbes added.

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