15.6 days old
99.2 percent lit
July 6, 2017
By Len Melisurgo
Sky watchers (click here) will have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the full "thunder moon" on Sunday, July 9. It will be the seventh full moon on the 2017 lunar calendar and the first full moon of the summer season in the northern hemisphere.
Here are some facts about the 2017 thunder moon, when it will be visible, how it got its name, and other nicknames for the July full moon....
As a side note:
The presence of atmospheric methane has a role in the scientific search for extra-terrestrial life! The logic is this: the methane in an atmosphere will dissipate if there is nothing there to replenish it. Therefore, the detection of methane on a planet should indicate the presence, or relatively recent presence, of life. This was a topic of hot debate when methane was discovered in the Martian atmosphere by by NASA's Goddard Flight Center (verified by the Mars Express Orbiter in 2004), and in Titan's atmosphere by the Huygens probe (2005). It was argued that atmospheric methane can also come from volcanoes or other fissures in the planet's crust, and that without an Isotopic signature of the carbon, it is difficult to confirm the origin of the methane.