Sturgeon Moon: supermoon lights up night skies worldwide

Photographers across the globe capture first of August’s two full Moons

Supermoon in China
(Image credit: Xu Congjun/VCG via Getty Images)

Skygazers worldwide bathed under the light of one of the largest full Moons of the year on Tuesday night.

The so-called Sturgeon Moon was the first of two such supermoons – when a full Moon occurs near the Moon’s closest orbital point to Earth – this month, with the next due on 30 August. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the sturgeon name comes from the giant fish found in the Great Lakes of North America, “which were most readily caught during this part of summer”.

The next full Moon will be a Blue Moon, the term “most commonly used when we have two full Moons in a single month”, the reference guide added.

Skygazers were also treated to a supermoon last month, on 2-3 July, when the full Moon occurred 224,895 miles away from Earth. This week’s Sturgeon Moon was 222,158 miles away, and the next will be at a distance of 222,043 miles.

A fourth and final supermoon of 2023 will be “closing out the run” on 28-29 September, said The Guardian, and will occur 224,658 miles from our planet.

The next Blue Moon after this month is not expected until August 2032, “making this last chance to witness one in this decade”, said The Independent.

Nasa added that the “wearing of suitably celebratory celestial attire is encouraged” on every full Moon, a tradition followed by sci-fi fans across the globe.

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Rebekah Evans joined The Week as newsletter editor in 2023 and has written on subjects ranging from Ukraine and Afghanistan to fast fashion and "brotox". She started her career at Reach plc, where she cut her teeth on news, before pivoting into personal finance at the height of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis. Social affairs is another of her passions, and she has interviewed people from across the world and from all walks of life. Rebekah completed an NCTJ with the Press Association and has written for publications including The Guardian, The Week magazine, the Press Association and local newspapers.