July Full Moon Bristol 2023: When will the Buck Moon appear over the city and will it be a supermoon?
July is here, and with it comes a new full moon. Stargazers across Bristol will no doubt be keen to catch a glimpse of this one, as it is the first “supermoon” of 2023.
This full moon is also known as the “Buck Moon” and will be the seventh full moon of the year. The Moon appears as different shapes in the sky depending on its phase, from new Moon to full Moon via “waxing” (growing) and “waning” (shrinking) moons. These phases are determined by the relative positions of the Sun, Earth and Moon.
Explaining where the term “Buck Moon” comes from, Royal Museums Greenwich said: “Male deer, which shed their antlers every year, begin to regrow them in July, hence the Native American name for July’s full moon.
“Some refer to this moon as the thunder moon, due to the summer storms in this month. Other names include the hay moon, after the July hay harvest.”
So, when will you be able to see the Buck Moon? Here’s everything you need to know about the celestial spectacle in Bristol.
When will the July supermoon be visible?
The full Buck supermoon will be visible tonight (Monday, July 3) in the UK and around the world. The Moon will appear full for several nights after this date and will be the biggest the lunar surface has looked from Earth so far this year.
According to BBC Science Focus, the Buck supermoon will reach peak illumination on the morning ofJuly 3, at 7.38am UK time.
But as this is after the Moon sets at 3.55am in the UK, we will not be able to see the exact moment when it reaches syzygy. Syzygy is the name given to a configuration that occurs for just a moment, when the Moon is directly between the Sun and the Earth (in a straight line).
Will the Buck Moon be a supermoon?
This year’s Buck Moon will be extra special as it is the first supermoon of 2023. Royal Museums Greenwich said: “The distance between the Moon and the Earth varies, because the Earth is not right at the centre of the Moon’s orbit and the Moon’s orbit is not a circle (it’s an ellipse).
“The moment when the Moon is closest to the Earth is called a lunar perigee. When the Moon is furthest away it is known as a lunar apogee. If the lunar perigee occurs very close to a full moon, then we see a supermoon.
“If a lunar apogee occurs very close to a full moon then we see a micromoon.”
Will the supermoon be visible in Bristol?
Due to the nature of the supermoon, sky-watchers across the city of Bristol will be in with an even better chance of seeing it. Conditions are expected to be cloudy from 10pm until tomorrow morning at 9am (July 4) so you may need to wait for clouds to pass to catch a glimpse - but it will be worth the wait.
Top stargazing tips
Stargazing is easy, you just go outside and look up at the night sky - but to get the most spectacular views, there are a few rules you should follow. The best tip is finding a dark-sky site, and checking the weather forecast before going.
Light pollution can often affect how much of the night sky occurrences we see, even more so, cloudy weather conditions make it more difficult to see the stars beyond. If you are unable to get to a designated dark-sky site, find the least illuminated spot you can where you can see the horizon.
Stargazing is such a popular hobby for amateurs and professionals alike, it’s likely there is a club near you, or you may have friends with a similar interest. Finding a buddy or club to join on the cold dark nights is always helpful, and one of the best ways to stay safe when stargazing.
When is the next full moon?
The next full moon will be the Sturgeon moon on August 1. The Old Farmer’s Almanac said there will be 13 full moons throughout the year, which are as follows:
- January 6: Wolf moon
- February 5: Snow moon
- March 7: Worm moon
- April 6: Pink moon
- May 5: Flower moon
- June 3: Strawberry moon
- July 3: Buck moon
- August 1: Sturgeon moon
- August 30: Blue moon
- September 29: Harvest moon
- October 28: Hunter’s moon
- November 27: Beaver moon
- December 26: Cold moon