July’s buck moon rises tonight, what else to look for in the darkened skies

Tonight will bring July’s moon to full, reaching its pinnacle at 6:57 p.m. when it is precisely 180 degrees opposite the sun.

July’s lunar splendor goes by many names, all having to do with the season and how it affects the Earth’s inhabitants.

A super moon rises over the Boynton Beach Inlet in Boynton Beach, Florida on September 8, 2014. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

A super moon rises over the Boynton Beach Inlet in Boynton Beach, Florida on September 8, 2014. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The moniker “buck moon” stems from the fact that this is the time of year when buck deer begin to grow velvety antlers, according to EarthSky.org.

But July’s full moon is also known as the “thunder moon” and the “hay moon,” as this is the season of the thunderstorm and when farmers are racing to put hay in their barns around the storms.

Many full moon names were given by Native American tribes who lived in the northeast U.S. In November, the full beaver moon rises, and then there’s the worm moon and the wolf moon.

“By the time the moon rises over the eastern horizon, we in North America will be looking at a moon that’s slightly past full phase. It’ll be a full-looking waning gibbous moon,” EarthSky notes. “No matter. From almost everywhere worldwide, the moon will appear plenty full to the eye on the night of July 19-20.”

In South Florida, chances of rain tonight are about 30 percent, but it’s expected to be spotty and there should still be a good chance to get a peak at the moon.

While you’re looking up, don’t forget to stay alert for the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, which will be ongoing through the rest of the month.

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