The Thunder Moon was less ominous — and more beautiful — than it sounds

The Thunder Moon was less ominous — and more beautiful — than it sounds
July’s full moon over an ancient temple of Poseidon in Greece.
Source: Louisa Gouliamaki/Getty Images
July’s full moon over an ancient temple of Poseidon in Greece.
Source: Louisa Gouliamaki/Getty Images

Long before there were skywatching apps for the iPhone, people kept track of time by watching the sky. The moon made a particularly good calendar, since each lunar cycle lasts 29.5 days. In order to talk about time more easily, many Native American tribes gave each full moon a name that reflected what else was happening in the natural world.

Naming the moons was a fairly common phenomenon across cultures, but early European settlers latched onto the names created by the Algonquin tribes. One of their names for July’s full moon was “Thunder Moon,” named for the storms that are so common on a summer afternoon or evening.

This year, the Thunder Moon was at its peak fullness just after midnight East Coast time Sunday morning, and during the nights surrounding it, photographers caught incredible images of the full moon. Here are some of our favorites.

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Meghan Bartels

Meghan Bartels is a science journalist based in New York City.

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