Full moon marks 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

How did the moon look around time of 1969 launch?

By Samara Cokinos - Meteorologist
© LAKANA

ORLANDO, Fla. - The moon will shine bright in the night sky Tuesday as we celebrate 50 years since the Apollo 11 launch, which sent three astronauts to the moon.

The mission was to put footprints on the lunar surface, and it was accomplished.

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The sky looked a bit different around the time of the launch in 1969, according to News 6 meteorologist Samara Cokinos. The moon was a waxing crescent. The one thing that remains the same today is the name of the July full moon: the Full Buck Moon.

Colonial Americans were known to adopt names from Native Americans who named the moons based on the features of the month during which it happened. The Buck Moon received its name because it's the time of year when new antlers start to show on the bucks' foreheads.

There are a few other names for Tuesday night's moon. It's also deemed the Thunder Moon, for the thunderstorms that fire up during summer afternoons. Other names include the Hay Moon, following the harvest of hay, and the Wort Moon, noting the time during which people would gather herbs and dry them to use as spices. 

[TIMELINE: Moments leading up to historic Apollo 11 launch]

The moon will be full at 5:38 p.m. No, that time is not a mistake. It can happen during daylight hours. It happens at the exact moment of that particular full moon alignment. The sun-Earth-moon system is technically known as syzygy in astronomy, when three celestial objects are in alignment. In our system, this happens at the full and new moon phases. The full moon will rise in Central Florida around 8:28 p.m. Tuesday.

Don't worry, the view at that time won't change much. The moon will still look full between the few clouds that will linger in the night sky. 

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