The Next Full Moon is a Supermoon; the Sturgeon Moon
The next full moon, occurring on August 1, 2023, is expected to be a supermoon. The term “supermoon” refers to the event when a full moon coincides with the closest approach of the moon to Earth in its orbit, known as perigee. These supermoons appear larger and brighter in the sky compared to regular full moons.
Astrologer Richard Nolle coined the term “supermoon” in 1979, designating a new or full moon occurring when the moon is within 90% of its perigee. Over the years, the popularity of observing full supermoons has grown, as they offer the largest and brightest views of the moon during the year.
In 2023, some publications recognize four supermoons, with two in August, one in July, and one in September. However, other publications only acknowledge the two brightest supermoons, which are the full moon in August and the following full moon at the end of August.
THE STURGEON MOON
In Native American folklore, full moons have been given names based on certain cultural and natural phenomena. The full moon in August is known as the Sturgeon Moon, named after the large fish found in the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water. During this time of year, these fish are easier to catch for Algonquin tribes in the northeastern United States.
Alternative names for the August full moon include the Red Moon, the Corn or Green Corn Moon, the Barley Moon, the Herb Moon, the Grain Moon, and the Dog Moon. These names have been recorded and popularized by the Maine Farmer’s Almanac in the 1930s.
THE ASTRONOMICAL SIGNIFICANCE
While cultural and folklore references add color and depth to our understanding of celestial bodies, it is important to recognize the scientific and astronomical significance of these events. The alignment of the moon, Earth, and the sun during a full moon allows us to study the moon’s surface, its motion, and its influence on our tides.
Scientists and space agencies, like NASA, use accurate calculations and observations to track the moon’s phases, positions, and other astronomical events. This helps us better understand the universe and our place within it.
Editorial: The Allure of Celestial Events
The fascination with celestial events, such as supermoons and full moons, goes beyond scientific interest. These events captivate people worldwide, igniting a sense of wonder and connection with the cosmos. The beauty and mystery of the night sky have inspired countless works of art, literature, and spiritual beliefs throughout human history.
Supermoons, with their larger and brighter appearance, remind us of the scale and grandeur of the celestial bodies around us. They invite us to contemplate our place in the universe and the vastness of space. These events serve as a reminder of the awe-inspiring nature of the cosmos, offering a sense of perspective and transcendence.
Moreover, the cultural significance attached to full moons, like the Sturgeon Moon, adds a layer of shared human experience and storytelling. These traditions and folklore connect us to our ancestors and remind us of the deep connections between nature, mythology, and our daily lives.
Advice: Embrace the Wonder, Seek Knowledge
As the next full moon approaches, take a moment to step outside, gaze at the sky, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Reflect on the incredible celestial events that unfold regularly, reminding us of the intricate workings of the cosmos.
While enjoying the beauty of the moon, it is also essential to explore the scientific knowledge and research surrounding these events. Seek out reputable sources, like NASA and other space agencies, to learn more about the moon’s impact on our planet, the history of lunar exploration, and the wonders of the universe at large.
Embrace both the cultural and scientific aspects of celestial events, allowing them to inspire and cultivate a sense of curiosity and awe. By blending ancient wisdom with modern understanding, we can develop a richer and more profound appreciation for the wonders of the universe.
<< photo by Frank Cone >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.
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