What is a Sturgeon Moon? When and how to watch the LAST supermoon of 2022
Be ready to witness the month’s first and the year’s last moon. The sturgeon moon will occur during sunset on Thursday, August 11. However, the full moon will be large throughout the weekend, as per Space. August is also the time for the Perseid Meteor shower, which peaks on the 13. Though the celestial event takes place two days after a full moon, it means that it will be very difficult to see meteors at all, even from a dark sky site.
According to In-The-Sky.org, on August 11, just before midnight, the moon will appear close to Saturn, passing within just under four degrees of the planet. The moon will appear, from the Northern Hemisphere, to be below Saturn, to its south. Saturn and the Moon will reach a maximum altitude of about 33 degrees by 1:15 am August 12. Over the nights following August 12, the Moon will rise around an hour later each day, becoming prominent in the night. After a few days, it will only be visible in the pre-dawn and early-morning sky. By the time it reaches last quarter, a week after full moon, it will rise in the middle of the night and set at around noon.
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When to watch the Sturgeon Moon?
The moon will officially become full on August 11 at 9.35 pm EDT, according to timeanddate.com. For New Yorkers, the just-past-full moon will rise at 8.18 pm, while the sun sets at 7.59 pm ET The moon will make a close pass by Saturn that night as well, at 11.55 pm EDT.
How to watch the Sturgeon Moon?
Look for the moon in the east at sunset on August 11. It’s highest in the sky around midnight. It’s low in the west before sunrise. While the supermoon doesn't only look bigger it also looks brighter. However, be warned it also coincides with the middle of the peak mornings for the Perseid meteor shower. "For best viewing, try to get somewhere with a clear horizon, elevated if possible, and as isolated as you can from artificial light sources. While you're waiting, try and spot Jupiter and Saturn towards the south as the moon is rising," Edward Bloomer, RGM Astronomer told Country Living.
Why is it named the Sturgeon Moon?
Traditionally, each full moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred. According to Almanac, August's full moon is named after the sturgeon fish as it is a popular time for sturgeon to be caught in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. These fish can grow to be around 10 feet in length and can trace their lineage back over 200 million years, according to The Peculiar Brunette.
Sturgeon were once found in great abundance, but their populations have declined greatly due to overfishing and habitat loss, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. Some of the moon's other names include the Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Fruit Moon and Barley Moon, all of which are inspired by various crops that can be harvested in August.