The full Sturgeon moon rises this weekend, and is also a Blue Moon…

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — August’s full moon will appear this Saturday, August 21st with its peak illumination set on Sunday at 8:02 A.M. EST. You can see this moon by looking into the southeast sky after sunset. What’s neat about this moon is that it will rise right next to the planets Jupiter and Saturn; the gas giants of the solar system.

Image courtesy: earthsky.com

This weekend’s full moon is known formally as the Sturgeon moon. By tradition, the August full moon is known as the Sturgeon moon because of the giant Sturgeon fish that’s readily caught over the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain during the late summertime. Other names given to this moon are the Flying Moon, Harvest Moon, Corn Moon, Ricing Moon, and Black Cherries Moon.

Seasonal Blue Moon

There is yet another unique thing about this moon in particular, and that it’s also being referred to as a Blue moon. However, it’s not a traditional Blue moon as there is an exception being made to the rule…

A typical Blue moon is defined as a full moon that appears twice in one month since there is typically only one full moon per month. Seeing two full moons in one month is a much more unique occurrence, hence the name “blue moon” was given to those fortunate enough to make the cut.

Since every month features a different amount of days, the lunar cycle and phases don’t always line up on the same exact day. This means we can get more than one full moon in one month when the lunar cycle overlaps the monthly calendar.

Unfortunately this moon does NOT appear blue in its appearance. If it does look blue, perhaps seek out an eye doctor.

This Blue moon is called a “Seasonal Blue moon” because it’s the third of four blue moons to occur within one season (between the summer solstice and fall equinox). There are usually only three full moons per season, hence why this is called a seasonal blue moon.

Full Moons Between the Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox

Image courtesy: earthsky.org

You can see this moon crest in the night sky on August 21st through the 22nd this weekend. You won’t need a telescope to see the moon, but you may want one to get a cool view of the planets lined up next to them.

So, is is this Sturgeon moon technically a Blue moon too? Perhaps. I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

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