Skywatchers’ Celestial Delight in August
Two Full Moons, Both Supermoons, Await
As August graces the calendar after a weekend of meteor showers, skywatchers are in for another enchanting treat. This month, the skies will showcase not one, but two full moons, and the excitement doubles as both are set to be supermoons.
August 1: The Radiant Sturgeon Moon
On Tuesday, August 1, the first of the two full moons will reach its peak, captivating observers worldwide. Referred to as the Sturgeon Moon, it will attain peak illumination at 2:32 p.m. ET, though not visible in the U.S. at this time. However, as evening descends, it will emerge majestically above the horizon in the southeast sky after sunset, radiating its full splendor.
A Phenomenal Lunar Display
The designation of a supermoon means that the Sturgeon Moon will delight with its slightly larger and brighter presence, surpassing the typical brilliance of a full moon.
The Sturgeon Moon’s Historic Moniker
The Sturgeon Moon draws its name from a rich tradition – it was traditionally called so because during this part of summer, the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught. These remarkable fish, often referred to as living fossils, have remained remarkably unchanged for over 100 million years. Regrettably, their populations have dwindled significantly due to overfishing and habitat loss.
The Mystery Behind Full Moon Names
The origins of full moon names have deep-rooted connections to various cultures, including Native Americans, Colonial America, and Europeans. According to the Almanac, each full moon name was historically attributed to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not just limited to the full moon alone.
Understanding the Marvel of Supermoons
A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit brings it closer to Earth than usual, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for us on our planet. The moon appears slightly bigger and brighter during these celestial rendezvous, enchanting all those who gaze upon it.
Embrace the Celestial Show
As the Sturgeon Moon graces the skies, embrace this captivating celestial show. Whether you’re an avid skywatcher or an enchanted novice, this cosmic phenomenon offers a moment of wonder and reflection, a captivating blend of science and enchantment etched against the dark expanse above.