August is arguably the most exciting month out of the year for stargazers. Starting at 11:59 AM EDT on Monday, August 3, you’ll be able to see August’s most spectacular full moon, also known as the “sturgeon” moon. Yes, that’s “sturgeon” like the fish.
“The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published ‘Indian’ names for the full moons in the 1930s, and over time these names have become widely known and used,” explains NASA, adding, “As the full moon in August and the second full moon of summer, the Algonquin tribes in what is now the northeastern USA called this the Sturgeon Moon after the large fish that were more easily caught this time of year in the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water.” Alternative names used for this moon include “barley,” “green corn,” and “fruit” moon.
The “sturgeon” moon corresponds with a few annual festivals around the globe. India celebrates Raksha Bandhan, which is all about the brother-sister connection. In Sri Lanka, the moon corresponds with the Nikini Poya holiday that remembers the first Buddhist council dating back to around 400 BCE. This full moon also happens to be in the middle of the sixth month of the Chinese calendar, as well as the 15th day of Av, which in the Hebrew calendar is similar to Valentine’s Day.
The bright celestial body will be visible from all corners of the planet all through the weekend.
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