What Is The Buck Moon? 8 Surprising Facts About The Annual Summer Sight

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

On July 9, 2017, the buck moon will make its appearance in the night sky. To be honest, I had never even heard of the full moon being called that.

That might be because it has gone by many different names over the years, as you can see in #3. After reading all the fascinating facts about this annual celestial event, I can’t wait to check it out for myself when it starts shining for us!

I’m particularly intrigued by whether or not the astrological fears in #4 will pop up along with the buck moon as it makes its orbit.

Take a look at all the information below to learn how the buck moon got its unique name, how it’s been viewed throughout history, and the best place to get a glimpse of it when it appears.

And don’t forget to SHARE all of the amazing facts about this incredible moon with your friends on Facebook!

[H/T: The Old Farmer’s Almanac]

1. It Isn't Actually 100% Full

full buck moon

Although it looks plump and full to our eyes at around 8 p.m. ET, the moon is actually in a “gibbous” phase by the time we get a good look at it. This means it’s actually waning away from us, but our eyes can’t really tell the difference.

In fact, most full moons aren’t technically “full.” The only time the moon is 100% full is when it is perfectly aligned with the Earth and the sun. Still, the ones we see on a monthly basis are pretty darn close.

2. It's Named After The Animal


Native Americans used the phases of the moon as a calendar to track important events throughout the year.

When the moon was bright and full in July, they knew they could count on seeing bucks with antlers starting to sprout before mating season.

3. It Also Has More Than One Name


Other tribes and early colonists referred to the full moon in July as the “thunder moon” and the “hay moon.”

The first is a reference to the higher number of thunderstorms common in several areas across the country during this time of year, while the latter was a signal to farmers to start storing their hay for winter.

4. Some Astrologists Believe It Can Be Dangerous


According to Astrology King, the position of the moon and Pluto directly opposite of the sun and Mars “creates such intensely hot energy that it will be difficult to control.”

They also warn that if this energy gets out of control, you might experience “serious relationship problems.”

5. The Moon Landing Missed It By About A Week

moon landing

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969, they were just nine days too early to coincide with the buck moon’s appearance that year.

6. It Will Be Situated In Sagittarius

sagittarius stars

The teapot-shaped constellation will be much easier to spot with the buck moon snuggling up against the stars.

7. You Can Catch It The Next Day

full buck moon

If you miss out on seeing the moon on July 9, 2017, you can see it shining almost as full on July 10 — or you can get things started early by checking out the nearly full moon on July 8, according to

8. It's Easier To Spot In The South

satellite image of southern united states also mentioned how folks living in the southern United States will have the best view of the buck moon thanks to the angle of the Earth’s axis.

However, going too far south (like, say, Australia) will mean you’ll unfortunately miss out on the views, since it will be daytime for them while at its peak.

Did you know all of these facts about the buck moon? Be sure to SHARE all the info with your friends on Facebook!