Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
Jan Harris
Assistant Editor
4:00 AM 2nd August 2020

What Is The Name Of The August Full Moon?

The full moon in August will rise on the 3 August after the moon makes a close pass in the night sky to Jupiter and Saturn.

Full moon over the lake - photo credit Kipp Baker
Full moon over the lake - photo credit Kipp Baker
It is called the Sturgeon Moon as it is the time of year when an abundance of this freshwater fish are caught from the lakes and rivers of North America.

The lake sturgeon is a greenish-grey colour with a pointed snout and two pairs of whisker-like tactile organs dangling near the mouth.

Lake Sturgeon - photo credit Antonio Delgado
Lake Sturgeon - photo credit Antonio Delgado
Every month of the year there is a full moon which illuminates the sky, each of which is given a different name.

A full moon occurs when the moon's earth-facing side is completely illuminated by the sun.

A few American tribes knew the August full moon as the Full Red Moon because, as the moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze.

Another name for the full moon in August was the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon, signalling the corn was almost ready for harvest.

Scientists say that when you see the moon looking really large as it rises in the sky your brain is actually playing a trick on you.

There are many reasons as to why this is, but the main theory is that when the moon is low on the horizon it can be compared to earthly things, like buildings and trees, and this is why it seems huge.

Full moon rising over trees
Full moon rising over trees
Sturgeon Moon myths and folklore:

The Farmers’ Almanac has listed some fascinating folklore connected to this lunar occasion. It states:

"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."

Dates of Full Moons in 2020

January 10 - Wolf Moon
Full moon - photo credit Rob Harris
Full moon - photo credit Rob Harris
February 9 - Snow Moon
March 9 - Worm Moon
April 7 - Pink Moon
May 7 - Flower Moon
June 5 - Strawberry Moon
July 5 - Buck Moon
August 3 - Sturgeon Moon
September 2 - Corn Moon
October 1 - Harvest Moon
October 31 - Blue Moon
November 30 - Beaver Moon
December 29 - Cold Moon

There are a total of 12 full moon phases during the annual lunar cycle plus the occasional Blue Moon and each full moon has a unique name.

The names given to the full moons during the year are derived from the North American traditions.

Many of these ancient moon names have been given based on the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.

However the full moon names we now use also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic roots.

The next full moon in 2020 will rise on the 2 September and is the Full Corn Moon.