Buck Moon 2021: when tonight’s July full moon will be visible in the UK – and its meaning explained

The moon will appear full to the naked eye for about three nights centred over the coming weekend
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Tonight (23 July) will see a so-called ‘Buck Moon’ rising over the skies of the UK.

In previous months, we've witnessed Snow Moons, Wolf Moons and even a Strawberry Moon.

Now another dazzling bright full moon is in store, but what is the Buck Moon and how can you see it?

(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Here’s everything you need to know:

What is a Buck Moon?

Despite its name, the moon won’t be growing a set of impressive antlers – the ‘Buck Moon’ tag is simply applied to the full Moon in July or the first full Moon of summer.

That’s because in recent years, traditional Native American names for the full moons have become more common in modern day parlance.

According to the Maine Farmer's Almanac - which first published the Native American names for the full Moons in the 1930's - the name comes from the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northeastern United States.

They called this full moon the Buck Moon as early summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.

They also called the July full moon the Thunder Moon, because of early summer's frequent thunderstorms.

The same full moon went under many other traditional names in other parts of the world. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, in Europe the July full moon was known as the Hay Moon for the haymaking in June and July.

When can I see it?

July’s full moon will be in the night sky on the evening of Friday 23 July.

While the moon will technically be at its fullest at around 3.30am in the early hours of Saturday morning, it will be in the sky from about 9.15pm on Friday evening.

It won’t set again until roughly 4.45am in the early hours of Sunday morning, meaning it will be visible in all its glory throughout the night – clear skies permitting of course.

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