How to catch the Full Sturgeon Moon
August’s full Sturgeon Moon reaches its peak on Thursday, August 11, 2022, reaching peak illumination at 9:36pm ET.
It will be the last supermoon of the year! Supermoons are commonly defined as full Moons that occur while the Moon is at its nearest point to Earth. (Because its orbit is not a perfect circle, the Moon’s distance from Earth changes throughout the month.) Supermoons are ever-so-slightly closer to Earth than the average full Moon, which technically makes them extra-large and bright from Earth’s perspective.
Look toward the southeast after sunset to catch a glimpse of the Sturgeon Moon rising. In practice you will have to wait an extra 10 minutes or so to see the full Moon poke above the eastern horizon—but it’s worth the wait!
Want to find out when the full moon rises near you? (Check out the Farmer’s Almanac Moonrise Calculator)
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Why is it called the Sturgeon Moon?
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.
These prehistoric-looking fish have been traced back to around 136 million years ago. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, females require around 20 years to start reproducing, and they can only reproduce every 4 years. However, they can live up to 150 years! They have evolved in size from the size of a bass to monster sturgeon as big as a Volkswagen.
Today, there are about 29 species worldwide, including the lake sturgeon found in the Great Lakes. However, lake sturgeon are rare today, due to intense overfishing in the 19th century, pollution, and damage to their habitat.
Flying Up Moon is a Cree term describing the time when young birds are finally ready to take the leap and learn to fly.
Corn Moon (Algonquin, Ojibwe), Harvest Moon (Dakota), and Ricing Moon (Anishinaabe) signify that this is the time to gather maturing crops. Along the same vein, the Assiniboine people named this period Black Cherries Moon, referring to when chokecherries become ripe. The Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest traditionally called this time of the season the Mountain Shadows Moon.
The August Full Moon is also called the Barley Moon, Fruit Moon, Grain Moon, and Lightning Moon.
Which is your favorite?
Also in the Night Skies...
Perseid Meteor Shower
Another August astronomy highlight to keep an eye out for is the annual Perseid meteor shower, which goes from late July to late August. The meteors reach their maximum in the hours just before dawn (while it’s still dark) between August 11 and 13!
Normally this week would be about getting somewhere as dark as possible to enjoy the year’s most famous meteor shower.
However, the Moon has other ideas in 2022. The full Sturgeon Moon will rise almost exactly as the Perseid meteor shower peaks, meaning its 100 also shooting stars are likely to be virtually invisible to most stargazers.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to see some of the brightest meteors after you've watched the Sturgeon Moon appear on the eastern horizon at dusk. The solar system delivers Saturn as its biggest, brightest, and best as the ringed planet goes into opposition later this week.
How the Zodiac Influences the Moon’s Energy
For many of us who live in concert with Nature’s rhythms, the Full Moon is one of the most magical of times -- an ideal occasion for becoming intentional and for creating change.
The Moon orbits one full turn around the Earth in 28 days. And as it does, it passes through each of the Zodiac signs for about 2 to 2 1/2 days.
The sign of the Moon on any given day broadcasts a subtle emotional undercurrent.
Just as our personalities can be described in terms of the position of the Sun and Moon at the time of birth, the changing moods and energies of our daily lives can be correlated with the passage of the Moon through the Zodiac each month.
Although any Full Moon can mark a time for manifestation, it is helpful to know which sign of the Zodiac the Full Moon is in, and how that effects the energies at work.
Like the mystery of the lunar pull, it's hard to put your finger on … it’s also not scientifically proven … yet it can serve as a good guideline in terms of whatever goal or intention we’ve set out for ourselves.
For example, if you’d like to increase prosperity, your Full Moon meditation would be enhanced by an earth-sign Moon (particularly Taurus); a Cancer Moon might also be appropriate. An air-sign Moon would be less effective, because of the emphasis on the mental rather than the tangible. You could, however, use the energy of an air-sign Moon to stimulate productive conversation with an employer, which might lead indirectly to monetary rewards.
Full Moon in Aquarius
Each full moon is a culmination of energy, as it’s the peak of the lunar cycle. The Full Moon shines its light on what you need to see or understand. It’s a deeply emotional, highly sensitive, intuitive, and emotional time.
Infused with the energy of Aquarius, this is an important Full Moon to tune into your intuition and energy to see if it aligns with your higher vision for yourself.
The Aquarius Full Moon is futuristic -- there is a sense of responsibility and accountability for your future. Aquarius represents the “future” you.
As an air sign, Aquarius may spark ideas. It’s important to go within and tune into what is taking place emotionally related to these thoughts. There may be deep insight into the situations and people that have caused emotional distress in the past, giving you the opportunity to forgive and heal it.
The Aquarius Full Moon is perhaps highlighting some truths or area of your life you haven’t noticed before. Aquarius is also passionate about freedom and breaking free from oppression. This Full Moon may be pushing you out of your comfort zone and supporting you in moving in the direction you want. What is pulling at you? Aquarius supports you in discovering this change.
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Aquarius/Leo Axis: Emotional Growth
While the Moon sits in Aquarius, the Sun sits in Leo.
Leo is creative, warm, and vibrant. It’s heart-centered energy is generous and magnetic. Leo is majestic and demands balance in this equation. The sun in Leo is providing a strong sense of self, helping you clarify with what you love. And reminding you to follow your heart.
Aquarius is innovative, technology based and focused on human rights and grassroots efforts. can be somewhat cold and detached.
The Aquarius/Leo opposition is highlighting emotional growth you’ve experienced this year. It’s reminding you to balance the needs of others (Aquarius) and your personal needs (Leo). Aquarius represents the people and joining together in groups with like-minded people.
Review how you would have reacted and year ago and see how you’ve changed. Tune into situations that in the past would have triggered you to see your growth. Acknowledge changes within you and see it as a graduation into your bright, beautiful future!