Why August’s Full Moon is the Sturgeon Moon

What’s so fishy about the full moon tonight?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a… fish? Not exactly, but if you look up to the sky over the next few days, you’ll be able to see the majestic Sturgeon Moon!

The Sturgeon Moon will be the first full moon for August and although it sounds unusual, it has a meaning rooted in tradition. The nickname was originally coined by the Native Americans as August was the time of the year when sturgeon fish were plentiful in lakes and could be more easily caught. In the 1930s, American farming magazines began publishing the Native American names for full moons and this is still done so today, popularising their nicknames. We bet you’re glad to know that the night few nights won’t have a fishy aroma!

As well as having the next full moon named after them, Sturgeons are pretty interesting creatures. They’re a type of fish that can live up to 60 years old, but are also known as ‘living fossils’. This is because palaeontologists have found sturgeons in fossils dating back to the Early Jurassic period around 200 million years ago, yet the fossilised sturgeons look similar to how living ones do today – unlike many animals, sturgeons have not evolved very much over time.

If you’re curious to see this year’s Sturgeon Moon, you’re in luck, as the first August 2023 full moon will be a supermoon. This is when the Moon is a little bit closer to Earth than normal, so it looks noticeably bigger and brighter in the night sky. This Sturgeon Supermoon will be occurring on the night of August 1st, so make sure you mark this date on your calendar to avoid missing it.

Did you know that there are also a few other nicknames for the August full moon? These include:

  • Red Moon: a Native American nickname given as the Moon sometimes appears red when rising above the horizon
  • Dog Moon: named for the ‘Dog Days of Summer’, where the weather is hot and humid in Northern Hemisphere regions.
  • Corn Moon: August is the month grains are traditionally harvested (alternative names are Harvest Moon, Barley Moon and Grain Moon).

As the Moon’s nicknames have been adopted over hundreds of years, it would be difficult to implement a new name for the full moon tonight. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to name a star and it’s an area we specialise in! Whether you’re naming a star after a loved one or would like to give it a symbolic meaning like the Sturgeon Moon, the possibilities are endless and you will be creating a gift that blossoms a deep emotional connection between you and the recipient, persevering throughout time just like the sturgeon fish.