Full moon monikers

Published 8:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Sometimes I need to turn everything off, go outside and look up.


Not as in looking for the ‘Big Guy Upstairs,’ as I think He probably has multiple residences, but by simply looking up at the endless expanse overhead, everything else seems very, very small. Even insignificant.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


Have you seen the first images from the James Webb telescope? Is there an adjective to describe them that even comes close? Staggering? Exquisite? Cool Beans? What appears to be craggy cliffs and valleys wrapped in a veil of stars were captured by the telescope’s infrared light, is better known by people with far more education than I (or is it, ‘me?’), as NGC 3324, or, more romantically, Carina Nebula. That’d make a good name for a charter fishing boat. 


What we’re witnessing from these images, says NASA, is star-birth previously invisible. If you go to NASA’s website, you can read more about how many light years away they are, how they were formed, and what new questions they pose to scientists.


Or, you can just look up, if that’s too much to take in, and be goggle-eyed this week by yet another Super Moon. 


It seems we have rather a lot of ’Super’ moons, doesn’t it? I’m wondering if they all deserve that moniker. I mean, you can’t be giving every bright moon that comes up a trophy, as demands overprotective parents of their soccer-playing children. Maybe there should be an “Average Bright Moon,” followed by “OK, Now We’re Talking Bright Moon,” before one is labeled a “Super Moon.”


However, the one overhead this week is to be the brightest moon of 2022. And as it comes closer to the Earth during its orbit than any other time this year, this Super Moon has also been given several nicknames, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The first on the list is “Full Buck Moon,” which has nothing to do with your drunken neighbor responding to your repeated requests to stop setting off fireworks past midnight, but, instead, is named for the velvety antlers that male deer sprout in the spring. 


I have no idea what a deer’s antlers have to do with the moon. Even the google machine couldn’t help me with that one.


This week’s moon is also known as “Full Hay Moon” for, I’m guessing, bringing in summer hay at nightfall during olden times when it was much cooler to work?


Its last nickname is “Full Thunder Moon” which, I’m told, also has nothing to do with your drunken neighbor and his penchant for loose meat sammiches on Friday night. Instead, it addresses the thunder that usually comes during the heat of July.


I don’t know who gives these names to Super Moons but I do know this: millions around the world would love the opportunity to give their own suggestions. There’s not enough column space for that, but I shall endeavor to help:


For those who work in ERs and bars: “This Is Going To Bring Out The Crazies Moon”. 


For those who believe the moon’s tidal effect can cause earthquakes: “Sleep Under A Heavy Table Moon.”


And, finally, for we women of a certain age: “Get The Heck Outta Here So I Can Sleep Moon!”