Every month has a full moon, but only July can lay claim to the moon named after an animal with majestic antlers: the Buck Moon. This particular month is already a blockbuster for celestial events, with the Perseid meteor shower at its crux. But this month’s full moon provides yet another reason to keep your head tilted skyward—and luckily for anyone who decides to venture outside (or glance out a window) it’ll be damn near impossible to miss.
When is the Buck Moon?
July’s full moon will rise just after sunset on the 23, and reach its peak brilliance at 10:37 p.m. ET. According to Space.com, it’ll appear full the night before and the day after, so people unversed in the eight phases of the moon won’t really be able to tell the difference.
This moon is called the Buck Moon because “the antlers of male deer (bucks) are in full-growth mode at this time. Bucks shed and regrow their antlers each year, producing a larger and more impressive set as the years go by,” according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The moon is named in honor of those mighty antlers, although several other nicknames have followed this moon throughout the ages (which is the case with full moons in general). Native American tribes have given July’s moon different names across the centuries, listed out by the Farmer’s Almanac below:
Berry Moon (Anishinaabe), Moon When the Chokecherries are Ripe (Dakota), Month of the Ripe Corn Moon (Cherokee), and Raspberry Moon (Algonquin, Ojibwe).
In the southern hemisphere, where it’s currently winter, the July full moon has different names that are more representative of the cold weather. As Earthsky notes, these names are: Wolf Moon, Old Moon, and Ice Moon.
How to see the Buck Moon
You’ll have to look to the southeastern horizon to see the Buck Moon rise, and keep your eyes trained there to see it reach its peak on the 23rd. The Farmer’s Almanac offers a moonrise calculator to tabulate your direct coordinates in relation to the moon’s rise, but you can always just look at the sky, as people have been doing for millennia.