August's Full Sturgeon Moon Rises Tonight As Incredible Images Captured Across the World

Tonight, August's full Sturgeon Moon will appear in the night sky.

Technically, the moon turns full at a specific time on August 3, which will be 11:59 a.m. ET. However, the moon will appear full to most observers for about a day either side of this moment.

In fact, photographers around the world took the opportunity over the weekend to capture some spectacular pictures of the almost-full moon.

Full moons occur around once every 29.5 days when our natural satellite is located directly opposite the sun, with the Earth lying in the middle.

At these moments, the face of the moon is fully illuminated by our star, appearing like a perfect circle.

Tonight's full moon is known as The Full Sturgeon Moon, named after the freshwater fish, also known as the Barley, Fruit, and Grain Moon. @WLWT #whilecincyslept

— Greg Rahe (@Hoosiernewshoun) August 3, 2020

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the full moon in August is often called the Sturgeon Moon —a name that derives from Native American folklore, particularly that of Algonquin-speaking people who lived along the continent's Atlantic coast and parts of the interior.

Sturgeons are large, prehistoric-looking fish that date back to as far 136 million years. Found in rivers, lakes and coastlines across Eurasia and North America, they are often informally referred to as "living fossils" because they have undergone remarkably little evolutionary change.

Full Moon tomorrow (3rd August) at 04.58pm #SturgeonMoon

— Stonehenge U.K (@ST0NEHENGE) August 2, 2020

It is thought that Native American peoples may have named the August full moon after the fish because this time of year was a good time to catch giant sturgeon in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.

This full moon also goes by the name "Full Green Corn Moon"—a reference to the fact that corn was nearly ready to harvest, as well as the "Wheat Cut Moon," "Moon When All Things Ripen," and "Blueberry Moon," according to the Almanac.

full moon
The full moon is seen over Cali, Colombia, on August 3, 2020. LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images

To catch a glimpse of the full Sturgeon moon, look towards the southeastern sky after sunset. For those in the Eastern Time zone, the moon will rise around 8:30 p.m.

Aside from the full moon, August looks set to be an exciting month for skywatchers in North America, with three meteor showers being currently active: the Alpha Capricornids, Southern Delta Aquariids and the Perseids.

The former two have already peaked, but they will both be active until August 15 and 23 respectively. The Perseids, however, are still warming up, and will peak on August 12.

moon, New York City
The moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty on August 1, 2020 as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images