News AI: First August 2023 Full Moon: The Sturgeon Supermoon Illuminates the Skies

On Tuesday, August 1, 2023, skywatchers around the world will be treated to the first of two full moons in August, and it comes with an exciting bonus - it's a supermoon! Following a weekend of meteor showers, the Sturgeon Supermoon will grace the night sky, offering an awe-inspiring sight for astronomy enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

What Makes It a Supermoon?

Supermoons occur when the full moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to Earth, known as its perigee. This proximity results in a larger and brighter appearance of the moon in the night sky, making it an impressive celestial event to witness. In 2023, there are four supermoons in total, with the Sturgeon Moon being the first.

The Sturgeon Moon's Name and Origins

The August full moon is traditionally referred to as the Sturgeon Moon due to a fascinating natural phenomenon that occurs during this time of the year. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the giant sturgeon found in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were historically most readily caught during the summer months, particularly around the August full moon.

Sturgeon: Living Fossils of the Water

Sturgeon are an ancient group of large fish that have been nicknamed "living fossils" because they have remained virtually unchanged for more than 100 million years. These majestic creatures have a remarkable history dating back to the prehistoric era. Newsweek notes that their resilience and ability to survive for such an extended period have contributed to the fascination surrounding them.

Decline in Sturgeon Populations

Despite their longstanding presence on Earth, sturgeon populations have experienced significant declines over the years. Overfishing and habitat loss are the primary factors responsible for their decreasing numbers. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect these majestic creatures and restore their habitats.

How to Observe the Sturgeon Supermoon

The August 1 Sturgeon Supermoon will reach its peak illumination at 2:32 p.m. Eastern Time. While it won't be visible at that precise moment in the United States, observers will have the opportunity to witness its beauty shortly after sunset when it rises above the southeastern horizon. The sight of a supermoon emerging from the horizon is truly a breathtaking experience.

Mark Your Calendar for the Blue Moon

As a special treat, the second full moon in August, scheduled for August 30, will also be a supermoon and a blue moon. A blue moon occurs when two full moons appear within a single calendar month. This rare event adds further allure to the August lunar spectacle.

Don't Miss the Celestial Show!

For astronomy enthusiasts and stargazers alike, the first August 2023 full moon, the Sturgeon Supermoon, is a must-see event. Set a reminder to step outside on Tuesday evening to witness the brilliance of this ancient celestial companion, a true marvel of nature. Let's cherish these celestial wonders and be reminded of the need to protect the natural world around us.