A ‘glowing Thunder Moon’ will light up the night sky tonight

July 2021's full moon will stand proud in the sky tonight – and it's set to be extra special.

This month's full moon is also known was the Buck Moon or Thunder Moon, and is set to glow in the night sky. the moon will have a distinctive shade of orange, rather than its usual pale hue.

NASA explained why July's full moon has a special name: "According to many Native American traditions, July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer emerge from their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur — hence one of the names for the full moon.

"The full moon in July also is called the Thunder Moon because of the frequency of thunderstorms during this hot, dry month."

So what exact time can you see the full moon – and why will it be orange? Here we explain.

When is the July 2021 full moon?

The July 2021 full moon will technically occur on Saturday, July 24. It will reach its fullest point at 3.36am UK time, according to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

However, it will be most visible to people in the UK on Friday night, July 23.

Why will the July full moon be orange?

At certain points of the year the moon will look bigger as it passes through its monthly Full moon phase.

There are four major moon phases it goes through in its 29.53 day lunar cycle – full moon, new moon, first quarter and last quarter.

As it goes through the different stages the colour of the moon will appear to change, depending on how much of the atmosphere its light has to pass through before it reaches us.

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When the moon is low in the sky the light will hit at a more shallow angle, meaning it has to travel through more of the atmosphere before it reaches us.

NASA explained why the moon tends to look different when it's low in the sky: "It tends to have a more yellow or orange hue, compared to when it's high overhead.

"This happens because the Moon's light travels a longer distance through the atmosphere. As it travels a longer path, more of the shorter, bluer wavelengths of light are scattered away, leaving more of the longer, redder wavelengths. (Dust or pollution can also deepen the reddish colour.)"

When is the next full moon?

Here is a list of 2021's remaining upcoming full moons:

22 August

21 September

20 October

19 November

19 December

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