August’s Full Sturgeon Moon Will Illuminate the Sky Tonight

Jake Smith
·3 mins read
Photo credit: miguelangelortega - Getty Images
Photo credit: miguelangelortega - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

  • The 2020 full Sturgeon Moon will first appear on Sunday, August 2 and remain visible through Monday night.

  • In the U.S., the full moon peaks during the day at 11:59 a.m. EDT on Monday, August 3.

  • Its name comes from the tradition of catching large fish in the Great Lakes, which was easiest around this time of year.

Even if nothing on Earth feels very reliable these days, at least we can look up to the sky each night and watch the moon peering down at us. This year’s full moons have felt more spectacular than ever, from May’s Super Flower Moon to July’s Full Buck Moon. This week’s full Sturgeon Moon will be no different—and you’ll have two full nights to gaze at it.

Roll out a blanket, lay down on the lawn, and settle in for a gorgeous cosmic show. Here’s everything you need to know about August’s Sturgeon Moon—including how to spot it in all its glory.

When is August’s Sturgeon Moon in 2020?

The full Sturgeon Moon will appear on Sunday, August 2 and remain visible through Monday night. It reaches its peak brightness at 11:59 a.m. EDT on Monday, August 3, according to NASA, which is smack-dab in the middle of the day in much of the United States. (Luckily enough, it’ll look almost exactly the same at night, and the moon will appear almost full from Saturday night to Wednesday morning, NASA says.)

To catch a glimpse of the moon, look to the southeast. Because it’s summer, the full Sturgeon Moon will remain relatively low in the sky, so make sure you scan the horizon—it won’t be too high. Because of its low height, it’ll also appear faintly orange. Once you identify it, you’re in for an entire night of peaceful viewing.

Where does the Sturgeon Moon’s name come from?

The Full Sturgeon Moon gets its unique name from the Great Lakes, where fishermen of yore could catch sturgeon most easily around this time of year, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

There are 26 species of the fish around the world, but this moon is named after lake sturgeon, which can grow up to 9 feet. While sturgeon might be its most popular connotation, August’s full moon actually has plenty of other names, too. Some call it the Green Corn Moon, the Raksha Bandhan Moon, and Nikini Poya, according to NASA. Call it anything you like—it’ll still be pretty.

When is the next full moon in 2020?

The next full moon is the Corn Moon, which peaks on September 2. (The Harvest Moon actually falls in October this year.) And keep an eye out for the annual Perseid meteor shower, which should peak on the night of Tuesday, August 11, according to the Griffith Observatory. Just remember to look up!

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