PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While preparing for your Fourth of July evening, you may want to plan some time to check out the full moon! Saturday night will bring our full moon for the month of July. The full moon is nicknamed the “thunder” or “buck” moon. The thunder moon because of the thunderstorms that occur in July and the buck moon because this is the time when a buck’s antlers have reached full growth. By the way, we are going to have an eclipse too! A penumbral lunar eclipse is set to take place when the fireworks are likely going off.
What exactly is a penumbral lunar eclipse? This is when the sun, Earth and full moon are in a straight alignment. The moon then crosses through the penumbra shadow of the Earth leading to a dim moon.
The first contact of the eclipse with the penumbra shadow occurs at 8:07 p.m. with the full moon 9 degrees below the southeastern horizon. The combination of a very low moon over the horizon and the eclipse phase will make the moon mostly dim and that will be difficult to view until the moon gets higher in the sky or the eclipse phase ends. The moon will reach its closest to the center of the shadow at 9:29 p.m. as it is just barely 3 degrees above the southeastern horizon. The last contact with the moon leaving the Earth’s shadow will be at 10:52 p.m. at just 12 degrees above the southeastern horizon.
The cloudcast is bringing in a clear sky by the time we get to sunset and the late hours of the day. There should be a lot of opportunities to snap a photo of the full moon. Although it’s named the thunder moon, there are no thunderstorms in the forecast for our Saturday night.
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Jim Todd of OMSI contributed to this article