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15 July 2011

Buck Moon presents average-size full moon on night of July 14

Day and night sides of Earth at instant of full moon (2011 July 15 at 6:40 Universal Time)

The July 2011 full moon will fall on Friday, July 15 at 6:40 Universal Time (UTC). Although the full moon comes at the same instant for everyone worldwide, the clock – as always – reads differently according to time zone. In the United States, the full moon occurs on July 15 at 2:40 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 1:40 a.m. Central Daylight Time, 12:40 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time and 11:40 p.m. (on July 14) Pacific Daylight Time. Can you see how the moon will appear more full on the night of July 14 than on the night of July 15 for us in the United States?

Understanding full moon
How do I translate Universal Time into my time?

This July 2011 full moon is the first full moon after the June 21 solstice. In North America, we often call this particular full moon the Buck Moon, Thunder Moon or Hay Moon. At this time of year, buck deer grow velvety antlers, thunderstorms rage and farmers struggle to put hay into their barns.

Can you tell me full moon names?

Watch the full moon as it rises over the east-southeast horizon at sunset. Like any full moon, the moon will look large and spectacular as it fully reflects the light of the sun. However, the July 2011 full moon will be only average in size – not large or small as far as full moons go. At about 239,000 miles away, the July full moon will reside at or near its average distance from Earth.

Contrasting an average-size full moon with a large full moon

The closest and largest full moon of the year came to pass on March 19, 2011. This year’s farthest and smallest full moon will be on October 12, 2011.

But whether near or far, every full moon is unique and special. Enjoy it tonight, as this July night shows off an average-sized full moon from dusk until dawn!

July 2011 guide to the five visible planets

- EarthSky