Here's when July's full moon shines and how to spot the 'Summer Triangle' in Kentucky (2024)

John TuftsIndianapolis Star

July is often filled with heavenly sights — fireworks, lightning from the occasional thunderstorm and the full Buck Moon, which charges across the summer sky toward the end of the month.

Skywatchers in July also should have a good view of Jupiter and the star Deneb, according to NASA. As one of the brightest stars in the constellation Cygnus, Deneb forms what astronomers call the "Summer Triangle." Here's where to find it and what we know about the moon's phases in July.

When is the next full moon in July 2024?

The Buck Moon shines its fullest Sunday, July 21, 2024. The moon's phases in July are:

  • 🌑New Moon: July 5.
  • 🌓First Quarter: July 13.
  • 🌕Full Moon: July 21.
  • 🌗Last Quarter: July 28.

Why is it called the Buck Moon?

It's around this time of year when a male deer's newly formed antlers begin to push out from the buck's head, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Other names for July's full moon from Native American tribes include the Salmon Moon, Thunder Moon, and Halfway Summer Moon.

When is the best time to see the full moon in July 2024?

For the Louisville area, moonrise will happen at roughly 9:03 p.m. Sunday, July 21, crossing the meridian at 1:43 a.m. before setting at 6:28 a.m. Monday.

You can check both moonrise and moonset times for your zip code by visiting the Old Farmer's Almanac online.

What is the 'Summer Triangle'?

Three shining stars — Deneb, Vega and Altair — form what's called the "Summer Triangle." This grouping is considered "an asterism," which means it's a simple, recognizable pattern of stars but not an official constellation. Skywatchers will note these three are among the brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere, and can be spotted with relative ease, even in areas with light pollution.

The Summer Triangle serves as "stellar calendar," writes Astronomy publication, heralding a change of seasons when the triangle becomes a familiar sight starting around mid to late June.

How to find the "Summer Triangle"

To find the Summer Triangle, look toward the east at dusk after sunset and you'll likely spot Vega, shining blue and white as one of the brightest stars on July evenings. Vega is the top of the triangle.

Below Vega and to its right is Altair, which is 17 light-years away from Earth and about twice the mass and radius of the Sun, according to Finishing the triangle is Deneb, which is below Vega but appears higher than Altair.

And once you find Deneb, congratulations, you've also found the tail of Cygnus, the swan constellation.

Why does the moon sometimes appear red?

You may have noticed the moon will occasionally take on a dramatic shade of orange or red in the night sky. That's because of how sunlight strikes the moon's surface after passing through our atmosphere.

When the moon moves into the inner part of Earth's shadow, or umbra, according to NASA, some of the sunlight entering Earth's skies scatters before reaching the moon's surface.

Colors with shorter wavelengths, such as blues and violets, scatter more easily than colors with longer wavelengths, which include red and orange. The more dust or clouds in Earth's atmosphere during a lunar eclipse, the redder the moon appears.

When is the next full moon of 2024?

The Sturgeon Moon is set to swim into the night sky Monday, Aug. 19, 2024.

Look up: Here's when every full moon shines in 2024

When was the last full moon?

The last full moon, known as the Strawberry Moon, reached peak illumination June 21.

2024 full moon names

Here's a list of the full moon names for 2024, courtesy of theOld Farmer's Almanac:

  • January: Wolf Moon
  • February: Snow Moon
  • March: Worm Moon
  • April: Pink Moon
  • May: Flower Moon
  • June: Strawberry Moon
  • July: Buck Moon
  • August: Sturgeon Moon
  • September: Corn Moon
  • October: Hunter Moon
  • November: Beaver Moon
  • December: Cold Moon

Astronomical events happening in July 2024

Skywatchers, according to NASA, should keep the following dates in mind for July 2024.

July 1:Jupiter and Saturn continue to shift westward as the lunar cycle continues, with Mars shifting more to the left. The waning moon will pass Mars on July 1, the Pleiades star cluster July 2, then Jupiter on July 3.

July 5:New moon.

July 13:First quarter. Mercury will shift to the left, low along the horizon, reaching its highest point above the horizon, about 2 degrees as twilight ends.

July 21:Full moon. As twilight begins (at roughly 4:52 a.m. EDT), the setting full moon will be 7 degrees above the southwestern horizon. The brightest planet in the sky will be Jupiter at 25 degrees above the eastern horizon. Mars will be 33 degrees above the eastern horizon and Saturn 45 degrees above the southern horizon. The bright object appearing closest overhead will be the star Deneb at 56 degrees above the west-northwestern horizon.

June 28:Last quarter of the moon.

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Here's when July's full moon shines and how to spot the 'Summer Triangle' in Kentucky (2024)


What is the summer triangle in July? ›

The Summer Triangle is an asterism that includes three bright stars in the night sky: Vega, Deneb, and Altair. This beacon of warmer weather is observable in the northern hemisphere much of the year but is highest in the sky in July-August.

What full Moon is it in July? ›

The July full moon, named the Buck Moon, will peak on July 21.

When was the full Moon in July 2024? ›

See (external link) for a map and information on the locations that will see this occultation. As mentioned above, the full Moon will be Sunday morning, July 21, 2024, appearing opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 6:17 AM EDT.

What is the full buck moon? ›

The Buck Moon is the name given to the full Moon that occurs in July, and you'll be able to see it this weekend, the full Buck Moon rising on Sunday on 21st July at 22:05 BST. A bright full Moon is a beautiful sight, and one of the most striking naked-eye phenomena visible in the night sky.

What is the significance of the Summer Triangle? ›

Also, the Summer Triangle serves as a stellar calendar, marking the seasons. So when the stars of the Summer Triangle light up the eastern twilight dusk in middle to late June, it's a sure sign of the change of seasons, of spring giving way to summer.

What is the second full moon in July called? ›

In July, the Full Moon is called Buck Moon to signify the new antlers that emerge on deer buck's foreheads around this time. Other Native American tribes call it Salmon Moon, Raspberry Moon, and Thunder Moon.

What super moon is in July? ›

The July full moon, also known as the Buck Moon, occurs on July 21, at 6:17 a.m. EDT (1017 GMT), according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. The full moon shares the evening sky with Mercury, which will be at its greatest apparent distance from the sun that day.

Why is the moon orange in July? ›

The full Buck Moon may appear yellow in color to stargazers. According to, this is because summertime full moons in the Northern Hemisphere tend to be lower in the sky, meaning the reflected light from the moon has to go through more of Earth's atmosphere, which can scatter blue light.

Is there a black moon in 2024? ›

The last Black Moon, by the seasonal definition of the term, occurred on May 19, 2023. The next black moon will occur on Dec. 30, 2024, and will be the second new moon in a calendar month. Top telescope pick!

How many super moons are there in 2024? ›

According to Fred Espanak, eclipse expert and retired NASA astrophysicist, there will be four supermoons in 2024, in August, September, October and November. Espanak's definition of a supermoon as a full moon within 90% of its closest approach to Earth gives us four to view this year.

Is July 15 a full moon? ›

July's full moon doesn't officially occur until Sunday, July 21, at 6:17 a.m. EDT (1017 GMT). However, it will look its best this month as it rises the evening before. The trick with watching a full moon rise is to catch it as it appears during twilight rather than darkness.

What is a wolf full moon? ›

Simple: The Wolf Moon is a traditional name for a Full Moon that occurs in January. The Moon is full every 29-ish days, which means most months have one Full Moon (on the rare occasions when two Full Moons occur in one calendar month, the second is called a Blue Moon).

What does the Buck Moon bring spiritually? ›

The glow of July's Full Buck Moon makes you feel centered, grounded and replenished. The mighty buck's energy brings spiritual strength.

What do Native Americans call the Buck Moon? ›

Native American tribes named July's full moon the Buck Moon after the new antlers that emerge from a buck's forehead this time of the year, according to Time and Date. Other traditional names for July's full moon include the Thunder Moon and the Hay Moon.

What is the difference between the Summer Triangle and the winter triangle? ›

In the past I have talked about the Summer Triangle consisting of three bright stars in the summer sky namely, Deneb, Altair, and Vega. Did you know that there is also a Winter Triangle formed by the three stars, Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Procyon? Each of these bright stars belongs to a different constellation.

What constellation is in July? ›

Our target constellation this month is Norma, which extends from declination –42° to –61° and spans about an hour of right ascension — one of the smallest of the 88 constellations. Yet, positioned as it is on the Milky Way, it holds several starry sights.

What degrees is the Summer Triangle? ›

And so far as most asterisms go, the Summer Triangle is a big one. If you recall that your clenched fist held out at arm's length measures roughly 10 degrees, then the apparent distance from Altair to Deneb measures 38 degrees, 34 degrees from Altair to Vega and 24 degrees from Vega to Deneb.

What is another name for Summer Triangle? ›

The Austrian astronomer Oswald Thomas described these stars as Grosses Dreieck (Great Triangle) in the late 1920s and Sommerliches Dreieck (Summerly Triangle) in 1934.

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