The full “sturgeon” moon of August 2022 will be glowing in the night sky this week, and it might be another big and bright supermoon, according to some astronomy experts.
Others say it will be just an ordinary full moon. Regardless of its classification, however, the August moon will officially be turning full Thursday night, Aug. 11, and will also be 100% full when it rises in the sky Friday night, Aug. 12.
The timing will be bad for anyone trying to view the annual Perseid meteor shower, which is scheduled to reach its peak overnight Thursday and overnight Friday — the same two days the moon will be full. As a result, the bright moonlight will cut down on the number of meteors that will be visible, experts say.
The August moon will officially reach its fullest phase at night — at 9:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Thursday, Aug. 11, in the New York City region. So, it will appear completely full as it shines in the sky both Thursday night and when it rises in the east-southeastern sky at about 8:50 p.m. on Friday.
The moon will also look full when it sets in the west-southwestern sky at about 6:20 a.m. Friday and 7:40 a.m. Saturday, according to TimeAndDate.com.
Is it a supermoon?
There is some debate about whether the August full moon should be classified as a supermoon — a moon that appears slightly bigger and brighter than the average moon because it turns full when its orbit is closer to Earth.
But several major astronomy websites, along with AccuWeather, say the upcoming full moon meets their criteria, based on the distance the moon will be from our planet when it reaches its full phase Thursday night.
Other astronomy experts, however, said only two full moons this year qualified as supermoons — the June 14 “strawberry moon” and the July 13 “buck moon.”
Nicknames for the August full moon
The most common nickname of the August full moon is the “sturgeon moon,” but some people call it the “green corn moon” and the “grain moon,” according to the Farmers’ Almanac and the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
North America’s largest fish is the sturgeon, and they used to be plentiful in rivers and lakes this time of year, which is why some Native American tribes gave the full August moon the nickname “sturgeon moon.”
The name seemed to stick during Colonial times, according to timeanddate.com. Sturgeons can grow as big as 6 feet long and weigh as much as 200 pounds.
Some Native American tribes referred to the August full moon as the green corn moon, a reference to the start of the corn harvesting season in some parts of the United States.
In September, the “harvest moon” will turn full at about 6 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.
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Len Melisurgo may be reached at [email protected].
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism