Hey, there’s a Buck Moon tonight! That is, there’s a full moon, which happens when the Moon is on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun. That’s why we see the moon’s shiny side. The fun part is, each full moon of the year has its own special name based on the time of year. Native Americans long ago named the full moons to help track the passing seasons. The July full moon was named after bucks (male deer), since this is when they grow new antlers. June’s full moon is called the Strawberry Moon for strawberry-picking season. May’s is called the Pink Moon thanks to a weird pink moss that grows. To top it off, a rare “blue moon” — 2 full moons in the same calendar month — can also happen. If you want to know what month it is, maybe it’s easier just to check your calendar.
Wee ones: What shape does a full moon look like?
Little kids: The Worm Moon happens in March. What month comes after that? Bonus: We’ve had just 1 full moon each month this year. How many full moons have we had including tonight?
Big kids: Full moons are 29 1/2 days apart. What’s the latest July date we could have a full moon and get a 2nd one that month? Bonus: The August full moon, The Sturgeon Moon (a type of fish), will happen on August 26. How many calendar days is that from tonight’s (July 27)?
The sky’s the limit: The next blue moon won’t come until October 31, 2020! How many more full moons after tonight’s will we have before then?
Wee ones: A circle (in real life it’s a ball, or “sphere”).
Little kids: April. Bonus: 7 full moons.
Big kids: July 2 (early in the day), putting the blue moon on July 31. Bonus: 30 days later, since August 26 is 31 days later.
The sky’s the limit: 27 full moons. We’ll have 5 more in 2018, another 12 in 2019, and then 10 more in 2020 before the second full moon in October.