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How to watch the Buck Moon lunar eclipse this weekend, July 4th

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On July 4th and 5th, be sure to slightly darken part of the moon.


After this year’s Independence Day fireworks, Skywatchers in the United States may be able to enjoy a heavenly bonus show. A lunar eclipse “Buck Moon” will stop for the night of July 4 and the morning of July 5, depending on where you are.

The solar eclipse will be visible in most parts of North and South America, as well as parts of Southwest Europe and Africa. This NASA map shows visibility to the globe. Time and date can help you find the best viewing window for your specific location.

This visibility map shows where in the world you can catch the solar eclipse on July 4th and 5th.

F. Espenak / NASA

A penumbra eclipse is the relaxed cousin of a total lunar eclipse. Total solar eclipses can plunge the moon into a red cloak. This weekend’s moon captures only a portion of the Earth’s outer shadow, known as penumbra. So you’re going to be looking for a very subtle change as a bite of the moon becomes a little darker than normal.

The July full moon is known as “Buck Moon”, a name that is attributed to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac when male deer grow their antlers out.

The solar eclipse will not be as dramatic as the fireworks expected in the U.S. on July 4th. As NASA said in a June skywatching update, “the slight decrease in moon brightness will be difficult to notice to the human eye.” That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. When the sky is clear, you will still be spoiled with a beautiful full moon.

For more information on viewing and enjoying lunar and solar eclipses, go to Check out our Eclipse guide.

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