Full Sturgeon Moon and Blue Supermoon: August 2023 | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Sturgeon Full Moon and Blue Moon: August 2023

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Full Sturgeon Moon OFA with text
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Colleen Quinnell

Catch the Full Sturgeon Supermoon and The Blue Supermoon!

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The next Full Moon on Wednesday, August 30, is a special one. It’s the closest, biggest, and brightest Moon of the entire year, plus it’s also a Blue Moon. Bottom line: If you have clear skies, don’t miss the brightest Moon of the year! See Bob Berman’s details. 

When to See the Full Moons in August 2023

August 1: Full Sturgeon Moon

August’s first full Moon will appear on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 1, reaching peak illumination at 2:32 P.M. Eastern Time. That evening, look toward the southeast after sunset to catch a glimpse of the Sturgeon Moon rising. 

August 30: Blue Moon

In August, a second full Moon, a Blue Moon will make an appearance. The term Blue Moon is most commonly used when we have two full Moons in a single month. On Wednesday, August 30, the Full Moon will peak at  9:36 P.M. 

This Full Moon is also a “Supermoon.” In fact, it’s the closest Supermoon of 2023. “Supermoon” is a catchy term for what astronomers call “a perigean full Moon” which is when the full Moon happens at or near its closest point to Earth in its oval-shaped orbit. 

  • It’s exceptionally close in Moon miles from Earth (222,043 miles). The next time we’ll have a closer full Supermoon is November 5, 2025, when the moon lies 221,817 miles from Earth.
  • A supermoon exceeds the disk size of an average-sized Moon by up to 8% and the brightness of an average-sized full Moon by some 16%. You may not perceive the difference in size, but a supermoon will appear brighter in the sky. 
  • A Supermoon can also cause higher tides than usual.

Read more about supermoons here!

In 2023, we have a Blue Moon and a Supermoon on the same night, which happens roughly every 10 years. This won’t occur again for another 14 years, in the night sky in January and March 2037.

→ Consult our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator to see precisely when the Sturgeon Moon and the Blue Moon will be visible in your area!

Why Is It Called the Sturgeon Moon?

The full Moon of August is traditionally called the “Sturgeon Moon.” (In 2023, this name applies to the first full Moon on the 1st of August.)

The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not solely to the full Moon.

The Sturgeon Moon

The name Sturgeon Moon comes from the giant lake sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain; this native freshwater fish was readily caught during this part of summer and an important food staple for Native Americans who lived in the region. At one time the lake sturgeon wwas quite abundant in late summer, though they are rarer today.

What Is a Sturgeon?

These prehistoric-looking fish have been traced back to around 136 million years ago and many people call them “living fossils.”

  • Females require around 20 years to start reproducing, and they can only reproduce every 4 years. However, they can live up to 150 years!
  • Today, there are about 29 species worldwide, including the lake sturgeon found in the Great Lakes. They have evolved in size from the size of a bass to monster sturgeon as big as a Volkswagen.
  • The lake sturgeon is quite rare today, due to intense overfishing in the 19th century, pollution, and damage to their habitat.
The word "sturgeon" means "the stirrer," which is what this giant fish does when it is looking for food; it stirs up the mud and silt on river and lake bottoms. Notice the pointed snout and whisker-like tactile organs near the mouth. Credit: Tennessee Aquarium..jpg
The word “sturgeon” means “the stirrer,” which is what this giant fish does when it is looking for food; it stirs up the mud and silt on river and lake bottoms. Notice the pointed snout and whisker-like tactile organs near the mouth. Credit: Tennessee Aquarium.

Alternative August Moon Names

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.

→ See all Full Moon names and their meanings.

Moon Phases for August 2023

See Moon phase dates and times below. Note: All dates and times are ET. Go to the Moon Phase Calendar for your time zone.

Moon Phases for August 2023

Full Moon: August 1, 2:32 P.M.
Last Quarter: August 8, 6:28 A.M.
New Moon: August 16, 5:38 A.M.
First Quarter: August 24, 5:57 A.M.
Full Moon: August 30, 9:36 P.M.

→ For your next full Moon, see our Full Moon Dates chart.

Full Sturgeon Moon Video

Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the Full Moon along with some fascinating facts. In this video, learn about the Full Sturgeon Moon. Click below to watch the video.

Best Days in August 2023

Below are the best days for activities, according to the Moon’s sign and phase in August.

ActivityBest Days
Cutting Hay5, 6
Harvest Aboveground Crops26, 27 
Fishing1, 16–30

→ See Best Days for MORE activities.

Moon Folklore

  • Clothes washed for the first time in the full Moon will not last long.
  • If you glimpse the new Moon over your right shoulder, you will have good luck.
  • To have a project prosper, start it during the new Moon.
  • Babies born a day after the full Moon enjoy success and endurance.

Share your thoughts about this month’s moon below!