Full Buck Moon: Lunar eclipse will occur on July 4

Fireworks are not the only spectacle in store for sky-gazers this Fourth of July. 

U.S. residents reveling in Independence Day festivities will get a prime-time view of a penumbral lunar eclipse that is expected to take over the night sky starting at 10:04 p.m. CST on July 4 and end at 12:56 a.m. CST on July 5, according to Almanac.com.

The eclipse will be brought on by what’s commonly known as the “Full Buck Moon,” and will be visible from most of North America, except the northernmost regions of Canada and Alaska.

While the celestial showcase is certainly something to look forward to, experts say this specific type of eclipse is bit harder to notice.

According to Earthsky.org, there are three kinds of lunar eclipses: a total eclipse, a partial eclipse and a penumbral eclipse.

“This third kind of lunar eclipse [penumbral] is much more subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than either a total or partial eclipse of the moon,” the website explained. “Then again… very observant people will notice something strange happening on the moon, even while not knowing an eclipse is taking place.”

The website writes that in a penumbral lunar eclipse, the Moon doesn’t go into the Earth’s main darker umbra shadow, making this eclipse in particular, harder to observe.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that July’s full moon is called the “Buck Moon,” marking the time of year that wild bucks’ antlers are fully grown, according to Native American folklore.

The July full moon is also known as the “Thunder Moon,” due to the frequency of thunderstorms during the season, according to the Almanac.

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