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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Catch the Full Sturgeon Supermoon and The Blue Supermoon!

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This year, August has two full moons—and, they are both supermoons! The full Sturgeon Moon reaches its peak on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, with the Blue Sturgeon Supermoon peaking on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. Learn when to look for these two full moons this month and why August’s Full Moon got such a peculiar name.

When to See the Full Moons in August 2023

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 Supermoon rising.

Later in the month, a second full moon, a Blue Moon will make an appearance. A Blue Moon is when we have two full moons in a single month. On Wednesday, August 30, the Blue Sturgeon Supermoon will peak at  9:36 P.M. This supermoon will be the biggest we see all year!

This month we will see TWO supermoons, which means that the second full Moon of the month is both a Blue Moon and the closest full Moon 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.

Read more about this year’s supermoons here!

→ 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 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

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.

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!

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