July 16 is an astrologically eventful night, bringing us a full buck moon and partial lunar eclipse. What does that all mean? Let’s break it down. First, each month's full moon has different traditional names. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, July’s full moon is called the buck moon or thunder moon, because it coincides with the time of year when a buck’s antlers are full grown and thunderstorms are frequent.
Next, a lunar eclipse only occurs during a full moon. It happens when the sun, moon, and Earth align in such a way that the Earth’s shadow moves over the face of the moon. This month brings us a partial lunar eclipse, so the Earth’s shadow will be seen on only part of moon. While much of the world — including most of Australia, Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia — will be able to see the partial lunar eclipse, the majority of North America is out of luck. A total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a blood moon, because of the reddish tinge that can sometimes be seen on the moon during the eclipse. Because this is a partial lunar eclipse, some are calling it a “half-blood moon.”
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