Perhaps the last thing you think of when it comes to a full moon is a very large fish, but August’s full moon is primed to change that. This month’s full moon is alternatively known as the Sturgeon Moon, which should evoke images of large, aquatic vertebrates enjoying life beneath the surface of a gleaming body of water. Or something.
When is August’s full moon?
The Sturgeon Moon’s 2021 debut is slated to unveil itself the evening of August 21. It’ll reach its peak brilliance on August 22, and looking toward the southeast during sunset will be your best bet of seeing it dazzle and loom, according to the Farmers Almanac. Currently, the new moon has only just emerged, which means it’s bound to get bigger before it wanes again.
As with all other full moons, August’s has a nickname indicative of the season. And per the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s derived from the abundance of big, muscular fish that are typically caught this month.
The website reads:
August’s full Moon was traditionally called the Sturgeon Moon because the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this part of summer.
Most, if not all, moon names are derived from various Native American tribes. The Royal Museums of Greenwich in the United Kingdom note a few other names given to this moon over the years by Native American tribes, noting: “It’s also been called the green corn moon, the grain moon, and the red moon for the reddish hue it often takes on in the summer haze.” You’ll notice a thematic tendency when it comes to crop yields and their particular times of year.
There’s plenty of time until the Sturgeon Moon comes out to play, but until then, you can track the moon’s phases and figure out when it’ll shine its brightest the old fashioned way.