What We Know About the Sturgeon Moon: August 2022 Full Moon Guide
On August 12, at 01:36 GMT (on August 11, 9:36 p.m. EDT), the Moon will reach its full phase. Let’s figure out why it’s called the Sturgeon Moon, whether it’s going to be a Supermoon, and what celestial phenomena can be observed on the night of the Full Moon.
What is the Full Moon in August called?
Most known names for the Full Moon come from Native Americans, who based them on the features of a particular month. For many tribes living around the Great Lakes, August was traditionally the time to fish for sturgeon, hence the name for the August Full Moon.
What is a sturgeon?
Sturgeon is a large freshwater fish living on the Earth since prehistoric times. Since then, they haven’t undergone any significant changes: some even call them living fossils. They can grow to over 2–3.5 meters (7–12 feet) long and weigh around 90 kilos (200 pounds). Female sturgeons can live up to 150 years; it takes them about 20 years to start reproducing, and they can only have offspring every four years.
There are about 26 sturgeon species worldwide, and all of them are endangered due to intense overfishing and water pollution. Let the name of the August Full Moon be a reminder to take care of nature.
August Full Moon alternative names
The Full Moon in August also marked the start of a harvesting season in the Northern Hemisphere. Native American names for the August Full Moon include Corn Moon, Ricing Moon, and Black Cherries Moon. The Anglo-Saxons called it the Grain Moon.
Among the Cree people, the August Full Moon was known as the Flying Up Moon because the young birds learn to fly around this time. Many cultures also call it the Red Moon because of the reddish shade the Moon acquires in the late summer haze.
The other alternative names for the August Full Moon include:
- Chinese: Harvest Moon
- Celtic: Dispute Moon
- Wiccan: Wyrt Moon
- Cherokee: Fruit Moon
- Southern Hemisphere: Snow Moon, Storm Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon
When is the next Sturgeon Moon?
The next Sturgeon Moon will be on August 1, 2023, at 18:31 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT). By the way, in the same month, we’ll also have a Blue Moon! The second Full Moon of one calendar month will occur on August 31, 2023, at 01:35 GMT (on August 30, 9:35 p.m. EDT).
Will the Sturgeon Moon 2022 be a Supermoon?
According to the calendar made by NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak, this month’s Full Moon is a Supermoon. However, in the table provided by the American astrologer Richard Nolle, who coined the term “supermoon”, we don’t find any Super Full Moons until 2023. Let’s take a closer look at both concepts.
What is a Supermoon?
A Supermoon is a Full or New Moon at or near (within 90% of) the closest approach to the Earth in a given orbit. Super Full Moons appear 7% bigger and 16% brighter than the ordinary ones.
The term belongs to Richard Nolle. However, he didn’t specify what he meant by “a given orbit”. If you try to use a year’s or a month’s orbit to calculate the upcoming Supermoons, the results will differ from his table. So, he probably used other estimations of the distances between the Moon and the Earth, which are unclear to us.
Fred Espenak uses the same definition but clearly states that he takes a monthly orbit as “a given one”. Most astronomical sources opt for Espenak’s table, which has more Supermoons than Nolle’s. You can learn more about both calculating methods in our article about the Supermoons.
The last Super Full Moon in 2022
Don’t miss the last chance to see the unusually bright Moon this year! Fred Espenak’s table says this August Full Moon will be the last Super Full Moon in 2022. Turn on notifications in the Sky Tonight app so we can remind you about the event.
When is the next Supermoon?
According to Nolle’s table:
- Super Full Moon — August 1, 2023.
According to Espenak’s table:
- Super Full Moon — July 3, 2023.
What’s in the sky next to the Full Moon?
The night sky in August offers many beautiful events; some occur around the same time as the Full Moon.
Saturn shining at its brightest
On August 12, observe the conjunction of the Moon and Saturn. Two days after, on August 14, the ringed planet will reach the opposition, which means it will appear bigger and brighter than usual.
The Perseid meteor shower’s peak
On August 13, we expect the renowned Perseids to have the highest activity (the shower can produce around 100 meteors per hour). However, the bright Full Moon can corrupt the view by outshining the meteors. You might not see as many meteors as you’ve expected.
When is the next Full Moon in 2022?
The next Full Moon, or the Harvest Moon, will be on September 10, 2022. Use our colorful Full Moon calendar to learn the upcoming Full Moons’ times, dates, and names.
We wish you clear skies and successful observations!