The next full moon rises this weekend, and it may look red. When to see the full buck moon in July 2021, and the Perseid meteor shower in August.

June super strawberry full moon

A super strawberry moon rises behind trees in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on June 24, 2021. The next full moon is the July buck moon, which rises Friday, July 23.Steve Novak | For

Normally, if a full moon appears red it’s because there’s a lunar eclipse happening.

But the next full moon — the July buck moon, rising Friday night — may have an unusual red or orange hue due not to the Earth’s shadow but because of high-atmosphere smoke from wildfires in the western U.S. and Canada.

The smoke had a hazy effect in the Lehigh Valley earlier this week as the concentrated particles created unhealthy air quality for people with respiratory issues, and caused sun and moon to look more vibrant as they rose and set.

Much of the smoke has been pushed out of the area for now, alleviating the hazard until perhaps next week when it may return on shifting winds, National Weather Service meteorologist Patrick O’Hara told But there may still be enough of it to cause a reddish hue when the moon is low on the horizon Friday night, he said.

Other than that, mostly clear skies are expected when the full buck moon rises at 8:38 p.m. The moon will remain visible until about 6 a.m., officially reaching the full phase at 10:36 p.m.

The buck moon gets its name because male deer are growing their antlers at this time of year, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which compiles moon names from Native Americans and European settlers. It is also known as the thunder moon, thanks to the frequency of storms this time of year.

It is the second full moon of the summer, and it sets up a blue moon in August.

Supermoon April 2021

A supermoon rises over Northampton County, Pennsylvania, on April 26, 2021. The July buck moon may appear red or orange because of smoky haze from western wildfires.Steve Novak | For

August 2021 blue moon coming soon

Despite the name, a blue moon doesn’t actually appear blue. To qualify as a blue moon, the timing of a full moon has to meet one of two definitions.

The August 2021 full moon will be the third of four full moons in one season, making it a seasonal blue moon. This is different from the 2020 Halloween blue moon, which was the second full moon in one month.

(Can’t see the full moon calendar? Click here.)

When is the next meteor shower?

Meteor showers happen when the Earth passes through debris left by comets. A few are currently active and building to their peaks in the next few weeks.

First are the Southern Delta Aquariids and Alpha Capricornids. Neither is a particularly spectacular shower, but there may be a chance to spy a few especially bright meteors, known as fireballs, when both showers peak the night of July 28-29, according to the American Meteor Society.

The main meteor shower show of the summer — and possibly the year — are the Perseids. This shower usually has decent numbers of meteors, and the 2021 Perseid meteor shower peak on Aug. 11-12 will have to compete with only a little moonlight.

The AMS says that Perseid viewers can see fewer but longer-lasting meteors in the evening, but best viewing will be in the early morning hours, around 4 a.m.

(Can’t see the meteor shower calendar? Click here.)

When is the next eclipse?

The Lehigh Valley won’t see anything like the June 10 partial solar eclipse for a long time. But a lunar eclipse will be visible across the U.S. early on Nov. 19.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, giving it a red hue. It is sometimes called a blood moon for that reason. The November 2021 lunar eclipse will begin at 1 a.m. and last through 7 a.m., reaching maximum eclipse around 4 a.m.

We’ll have another chance to see a lunar eclipse in May 2022, and part of one that November. We won’t see another partial solar eclipse here until October 2023.

moon photos

The full moon appears red during a 2019 lunar eclipse. (Tim Hawk | NJ Advance Media for

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