Tonight’s Orange-Tinted Full Moon, Known as the Buck Moon, Comes With a Warning

The full moon on December 3, 2017, was the first of 3 consecutive supermoons. 6 photos
Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls
A setting Moon and elk at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National ParkMoon over the La Sal Mountains in Utah on July 27, 2018Nearly full moon over the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City in 2019Moon behind Jefferson Memorial in Washington in 2019A rare full moon on December 17, 2015
So far this year, there has been no shortage of photography-worthy celestial events centered around the moon. After a super pink moon in April, a total lunar eclipse in May and the Strawberry supermoon in June, it may seem that nothing can match that, until the upcoming eclipses towards the end of the year. Yet, this full moon comes with a worrying aspect and a warning.
First of all, when will the July 23 full moon be visible? For most of America, the full moon will appear tonight, opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude, at 10:37 p.m. EDT. For the area starting at Newfoundland and Greenland, to the International Dateline, the full moon will be on Saturday, July 24. Following the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Saturday is when the full moon will be visible in most regions.

The Native American name for this particular full moon is Buck Moon, because during this time of the year, buck deer would begin to grow new antlers. In Europe, it was known as Hay Moon, since the first 2 months of summer were the time of haymaking. It even has a special spiritual significance for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, which celebrate this Guru Full Moon (Guru Purnima) as a time for honoring the spiritual master (Guru).

Another Native American name for this full moon was Thunder Moon, related to the frequent thunderstorms that normally occur during this time of the year. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), this would be a good time to reiterate a warning about lightning safety.

Typical lightning is negative, meaning it arcs from the “negatively charged bottom of the storm to the ground underneath the storm”. Positive lighting arcs from the top and can strike the ground up to 8 miles (12.8 km) away. Because of this distance, it’s much more powerful, and therefore dangerous, than regular ones, and seems to appear out of the blue. It’s good to watch out for this type of lightning, keeping in mind that hearing thunders is always a clear warning sign.

Tonight’s full moon is also telling of what has been going on the U.S. West Coast. Unlike the previous moons, this one will have a special orange-looking tint because of the recent hundreds of fires. The smoke particles not only affect the air, but also make the sun and the moon appear different to us. Although wildfires are a usual occurrence during certain times of the year, this orange full moon is warning us about the need for a solution.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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