A full moon will rise in the sky tonight! Peak illumination occurred at 7:02 A.M. CDT Sunday morning, but you will still be able to catch the majority of the moon’s beauty Sunday night (about 99.7% illumination is expected).
The Full Sturgeon Moon
The August full moon is called the Sturgeon Full Moon, after the fish in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. This is the time of year the Giant Sturgeon were readily caught by the Native American tribes who lived in the region.
Other nicknames that were given to the August full moon (and their origin) according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac include:
- Flying Up Moon (Cree) – the time of year when young birds were ready to learn how to fly.
- Corn Moon (Algonquin, Ojibwe)
- Harvest Moon (Dakota)
- Ricing Moon (Anishinaabe) – time of year to gather the maturing crops.
- Black Cherries Moon (Assiniboine) – time of year when chokecherries become ripe.
- Mountain Shadows Moon (Tlingit)
A Full Blue Moon
This year’s Sturgeon Moon is extra special because it is also a blue moon. No, you will not see an actual blue moon in the sky (although that would be pretty cool to see). A blue moon is a full moon that meets one of the following requirements.
- Second full moon of the month. This is because full moons occur every 29.5 days while a single month is 30-31 days long (except February).
- Third full moon out of four in a single astronomical season. This is why the August full moon is a blue moon!
Summer 2021 will have four full moons by the time we switch the calendar to fall on September 22. Full moons occurred on Thursday, June 24, and Friday, July 23 this year, with the next full moon after today scheduled for Monday, September 20.
Go grab your telescopes! The viewing conditions across Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley will be pretty much perfect for the Sturgeon Moon this year.
A few high clouds early in the evening may blur some of the finer details of the moon’s surface, but they should dissipate around midnight Sunday night. It will be a humid night as well with temperatures in the 70s, so don’t forget to put on some bug spray.
Going out to see the Sturgeon Moon? Take your phone or camera and send your pictures to us to show on-air! Email – email@example.com!