The full moon of July is most commonly known as the Buck Moon in many Native American traditions. July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.

It was also called the Thunder Moon because of the frequency of thunderstorms during this hot, dry month.

To the early settlers, the nature signs they used to mark the full moons were generally related to their farming. This moon was often called the Full Hay Moon. This may be derived from the fact that the brightness of the moon allows one to harvest hay in the cool of the night rather than the heat of the day.

This year, the July moon appears on Tuesday, July 7 at 5:21 a.m. EDT.  Since the moon “arrives” at apogee later, this will also be smallest full moon of 2009.  In terms of apparent size, it will appear 12%  smaller than the full moon of January 1, 2009.