We have had an above average of supermoons this year, allowing for some spectacular stargazing. The Sturgeon Moon will be this year’s last supermoon, so don’t miss out.
The full Moon in August, traditionally called the Sturgeon Moon, is named so because the giant sturgeon in Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were caught mostly during this part of summer, according to the Farmers Almanac. So that leaves the question, what is a sturgeon?
What Is A Sturgeon?
Sturgeons are essentially living fossils, having existed since 136 million years ago. Due to overfishing during the 19th century, pollution, and damage to their habitat, this living fossil population has declined. Their females have to mature to about 20 years of age before they can reproduce, and their reproduction cycles are only every four years, although they can live up to 150 years of age. There are 29 species currently in existence, with their populations endangered by pollution and human activity.
When Will The Moon Appear?
The sturgeon moon will officially be here on August 11 at 9:35 PM EDT, according to timeanddate.com. For those in New York City, the full moon will rise at 8:18 PM, while the sun will set at 7:59 PM Eastern Time that day. Saturn will also pass closely by the moon that night at 11:55 PM EDT. Full moons occur on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, with an angel measuring 180 degrees. When the moon moves through the Earth’s shadow, then is when we get a lunar eclipse, but that doesn’t happen each month because the moon’s orbit is an inclined angle, so it doesn’t always line up. The next lunar eclipse will occur on November 8, 2022.
On August 11, right before midnight, the moon will appear close to Saturn, passing just under 4 degrees of the planet, where the moon will be visible to those from the Northern Hemisphere below Saturn, which is to its south. The two celestial bodies will be in conjunction, which means they share celestial longitude. Saturn and the moon will be in the constellation Capricorn, washed out by the moonlight. Saturn and the Moon will reach a maximum altitude of about 33 degrees by 1:15 AM on August 12, according to In-the-Sky.org.
Best Ways To View The Moon
- The supermoon is big enough to view with the naked eye, but if you want to see the finer details, get away from the light pollution, such as remote areas, with high overlooks like mountains.
- Binoculars can be a great visual aid, as they are easily portable and allow you to see details you would otherwise miss
- If you want to see Saturn, the best way to do so is with a telescope to look for the moon after midnight to get a great view of the planet’s rings.
The Sturgeon Moon is the last supermoon of the year, so keep looking up into the cosmos and see one of the universe’s greatest wonders.