The Strawberry Moon will peak later this week when its Earth-facing side is fully lit up by the Sun. Here in the UK, when viewed from London, the August Full Moon will peak before it rises for the night – around 1.29pm BST on Thursday, August 15. The Full Moon will then slowly creep over the horizon around 8.47pm BST and set the following morning around 6.23am BST. The Sturgeon Moon is the eighth Full Moon of the year and comes one month after the beautiful July Buck Moon.
What is the meaning behind the Sturgeon Moon’s name?
There are 12 Full Moons throughout the year, with the exception of a rare Blue Moon, and each one has its own, unique name.
For instance, the May Full Moon is known as the Strawberry Moon after strawberries ripening in the wild.
In December, the Full Moon is called the Cold Moon because of the chilling temperatures and wintry weather.
Most of these names were adopted by colonial Europeans from the many Native American tribes living along the eastern edge of modern-day America.
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The names are said to reflect the changing seasons and were used as a way of keeping track of the time.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac guide to astronomy and nature, August’s name indicates sturgeon are ready to be caught in the wild.
Amy Nieskens, of the Old Farmer’s Almanac guide to nature, explained: “August’s Full Moon is known as the Sturgeon Moon because Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon in the Great Lakes and in Lake Champlain were most readily caught during the Full Moon.”
And the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London said: “North American fishing tribes called August’s Full Moon the Sturgeon Moon since the species appeared in number this month.
“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.”
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Space agency NASA further embellished the story by linking the Full Moon’s name to fish in the US’ Great Lakes – Lakes Superior, Huron, Ontario, Michigan and Erie.
NASA’s Gordon Johnston said: “The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published Indian names for the Full Moons in the 1930s and over time these names have become widely known and used.
“Many writers tie these Native American names to the European months, so that the Full Moon in August is the Sturgeon Moon, regardless of whether it is the second or the last Full Moon of Summer.”
The August Full Moon is also known as the Corn Moon, the Barley Moon or the Fruit Moon.
In each of those cases, the name suggests a time for gathering crops and food.
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What are the other Full Moons this year:
Here are all of the named Full Moon phases this year:
January 21 – Wolf Moon
February 19 – Snow Moon
March 21 – Worm Moon
April 19 – Pink Moon
May 18 – Flower Moon
June 17 – Strawberry Moon
July 16 – Buck Moon
August 15 – Sturgeon Moon
September 14 – Full Corn Moon
October 13 – Hunter’s Moon
November 12– Beaver’s Moon
December 12 – Cold Moon