See the full moon swing past Saturn, then Jupiter

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Jul 26, 2021, 9:20:21 AMJul 26
See the full moon swing past Saturn, then Jupiter

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"Full moon is July 23-24
We in North America call the July full moon the Buck Moon, Hay Moon or
Thunder Moon. At this time of year, buck deer begin to grow velvety
antlers. And farmers are loading hay in their barns, amid summer’s
frequent thunderstorms. In 2021, the July full moon falls on the night
of July 23-24. And on the nights of July 23 to 26, you can watch as this
full or just-past-full moon sweeps past our solar system’s largest
planets, Jupiter and Saturn.

The moon will look full to the eye for a few nights in a row. But it’s
truly full for only a fleeting instant. Astronomically speaking, the
moon is said to be full at the moment that it’s most opposite the sun
(180 degrees from the sun in ecliptic longitude). That full-moon instant
comes on July 24 at 02:37 UTC.---

So watch for the full moon. And watch on these nights – July 23 to 26 –
in order to pick out the brightest lights in the bright moon’s vicinity.
They’ll be Jupiter and Saturn. These two worlds will follow the moon
westward throughout the night, as Earth rotates under the sky.

The moon never pauses in its journey around Earth. It always travels
eastward in front of the constellations of the zodiac. That’s because it
orbits Earth in an easterly direction. Each month, the moon passes all
the visible planets. Shortly after this month’s full moon, on July 24 at
around 17:00 UTC, the waning gibbous moon will swing 4 degrees to the
south of Saturn. Then the moon will pass 4 degrees to the south of
Jupiter on July 26 at around 01:00 UTC. For reference, the moon’s
angular diameter spans about 1/2 degree.
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