Tonight the Full Thunder Moon (also called the Full Buck Moon) will rise around sunset in the southeast in the constellation Sagittarius. In Duluth watch for it to breach the horizon at 8:55 p.m. For moonrise times for your town, click HERE and add an hour for daylight saving time.
Early summer is when velvety antlers grow from the foreheads of buck deer, hence the traditional name. July’s full moon is also known as the Full Thunder Moon, since thunderstorms are common this month. One blasted through my town only last night.
Like the sun, the moon is colored a deep orange when rising or setting. That’s because we see we look horizontally through the thickest (lowest) part of the atmosphere at those times. The shorter wavelength greens, blues and purples are scattered away by the dense air leaving the yellows, oranges and reds to shine through.
All full moons are directly opposite the sun in the sky. Since the sun’s highest in the summer, the full moon occupies the place directly opposite that spot in the lowest part of the sky. The sun will occupy the spot the moon is in tonight later come this December.
For sky watchers living at mid-northern latitudes, the low-riding moon remains orange to yellow hued for much of the night, since it never climbs high enough to be seen through the thinner air overhead. That’s OK by me. I’ve always enjoyed seeing the yellow moons of June and July. The color is a perfect fit for the warmest season of the year.