How to watch the ‘Buck Moon’ lunar eclipse this weekend of July 4

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Look for a slight darkening of part of the moon on July 4 and 5. NASA

After this year’s Independence Day fireworks, sky observers in the United States can enjoy a bonus celestial spectacle. A buck buck lunar eclipse is planned for the night of July 4 and the morning of July 5, depending on where you are.

The eclipse will be visible in most of North and South America as well as in parts of southwestern Europe and Africa. This NASA map shows the visibility of the globe. The time and date can help you identify the best display window for your specific location.

This visibility map shows where in the world you can catch the penumbral eclipse on July 4 and 5. Space / NASA

A penumbral eclipse is the relaxed cousin of a total lunar eclipse. Total eclipses can plunge the moon into a cape of red. The moon this weekend will only catch part of the Earth’s outer shadow, known as penumbra, so you’ll be looking for a very subtle change because a bite from the moon becomes a little darker than normal .

The full moon in July is known as the “buck moon,” a name that dates back to the Maine farmer’s almanac in reference to the male deer that grow their antlers.

The eclipse will not be as dramatic as the fireworks expected across the United States on July 4. As NASA said in a June Sky Observation update, “the slight reduction in the brightness of the moon will be difficult to see for the human eye. This does not mean that you should not try. With a clear sky, you will always be entitled to a beautiful full moon.

To learn more about how to see and enjoy eclipses, lunar and solar, consult our eclipse guide.

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