Get us in your inbox

Full moon
Photograph: Shutterstock

A full ‘thunder moon’ eclipse will light up the skies this weekend

July’s full moon will be visible around the world on Sunday, while some countries will also witness a penumbral lunar eclipse

Ellie Walker-Arnott
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott

Thanks to months of lockdown, your social calendar is probably still looking a little sparse, but there’s plenty going on overhead this weekend. 

The first weekend of July will see the skies above us lit up by a full ‘thunder moon’. 

This dramatic-sounding phenomenon is July’s full moon, so called because in the northern hemisphere, the month is associated with summer storms. Also known as a ‘buck moon’ or ‘hay moon’, it will be visible all over the world on Sunday, July 5. 

There’ll also be another reason to look skyward this weekend, as this month’s full moon happens to coincide with a lunar eclipse. 

It’s a penumbral lunar eclipse, which is basically when the outer shadow of the Earth falls over the moon’s surface. It’s not super easy to spot – unlike a lunar eclipse where the Earth’s main shadow blocks out the moon – but if you pay attention you should be able to see the ‘thunder moon’ turn a shade darker during the eclipse. 

This subtle eclipse will be visible in North, South and Central America, Africa and most of Europe. 

In London it will peak at 4.41am BST on July 5, while stargazers in New York will be able to see it at 00.29am EDT the same night. Who said you didn’t have big weekend plans?

Really into the night’s sky now? Here are all the big celestial events to look out for in 2020

You may also like
You may also like