Second Full Moon in August 2023: The Biggest Supermoon This Year

~5 min

August 2023 is a special month as it has two Full Moons: the Sturgeon Moon and Blue Moon. Moreover, both of them are Supermoons. We’ve already seen the Sturgeon Supermoon on August 1. Let’s figure out when the second Full Moon in August will occur and why it will be the biggest and brightest Supermoon of 2023!


Moon phases for August 2023

You can find a convenient lunar calendar in the Sky Tonight app. Tap the calendar icon at the bottom part of the main screen and switch to the “Moon” tab. Here, you can learn the lunar phase, illumination, moonset and moonrise times, and even the Moon's angular size for every day of the chosen month. Watch our video tutorial to learn more about the Calendar and its features.

Here are the Moon phase dates and times for August 2023:

  • Full Moon: August 1, 18:31 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT)
  • Last Quarter: August 8, 10:28 GMT (6:28 a.m. EDT)
  • New Moon: August 16, 09:38 GMT (05:38 a.m. EDT)
  • First Quarter: August 24, 09:57 GMT (05:57 a.m. EDT)
  • Full Moon: August 31, 01:35 GMT (August 30, 09:35 p.m. EDT)

As you can see, August 2023 has two Full Moons. The first one has already passed on August 1. Let’s take a look at the upcoming Full Moon.

Full Moon on August 31: the Blue Moon

In August 2023, we’ll have a Blue Moon! It will occur on August 31, 01:35 GMT (August 30, 09:35 p.m. EDT) and be the second Full Moon of one calendar month.

What is a Blue Moon?

A Blue Moon is either the third of four Full Moons in an astronomical season (the seasonal Blue Moon) or the second Full Moon in a calendar month (the calendrical Blue Moon). Interestingly, the latter definition is more popular, although it appeared as a result of a misinterpretation of the former one. In our article about the Blue Moons, we explain in detail why this happened and why the “extra” Full Moon even needs a name, and also provide the dates of the Blue Moons up to 2031.

What constellation is the Blue Moon 2023 in?

The Blue Moon 2023 will be in the constellation Aquarius. Check the Moon’s position in the real sky above you with the help of Star Walk 2 and Sky Tonight.

When is the next Blue Moon?

The next Blue Moon will be on August 31, 2023, at 01:35 GMT (August 30, 09:35 p.m. EDT). It will be a calendrical Blue Moon. After that, the next seasonal Blue Moon will be on August 19, 2024, at 18:26 GMT (2:26 p.m. EDT). The next calendrical Blue Moon will occur on May 31, 2026, at 08:45 GMT (4:45 a.m. EDT).

Supermoon August 2023: the largest of the year

The average distance between the Moon and our planet is 384,400 km or 238,855 miles. The closer our natural satellite comes to the Earth, the bigger and brighter it appears in the sky.

The Blue Moon 2023 will approach the Earth closer than any other Full Moon (357,344 km or 222,043 miles). This means the Blue Moon 2023 will be the biggest and brightest Full Moon this year. It will be 7.2% larger and 15.7% more luminous than an average Full Moon.

What is a Supermoon?

A Supermoon is a Full or New Moon at or near (within 90% of) the closest approach to the Earth in a given orbit. Super Full Moons appear 7% bigger and 16% brighter than the ordinary ones.

Supermoons & Micromoons
What is a Supermoon and a Micromoon? When to observe our natural satellite at its biggest and brightest? Take a look at this infographic to find it out!
See Infographic

The term belongs to Richard Nolle. However, he didn’t specify what he meant by “a given orbit”. If you try to use a year’s or a month’s orbit to calculate the upcoming Supermoons, the results will differ from his table. So, he probably used other estimations of the distances between the Moon and the Earth, which are unclear to us.

Fred Espenak uses the same definition but clearly states that he takes a monthly orbit as “a given one”. Most astronomical sources opt for Espenak’s table, which has more Supermoons than Nolle’s. You can learn more about both calculating methods in our article about the Supermoons.

The dates of Supermoons in the two calendars do not always coincide: the same Full Moon may be considered a Supermoon by Nolle and not by Espenak, and vice versa. However, the two August 2023 Full Moons are listed in both Supermoon calendars.

When is the next Supermoon 2023?

According to Espenak’s table, we will see Supermoons on August 31 and September 29, 2023. According to Nolle’s table, the Supermoon on August 31 will be the last one in 2023.

August Full Moon: the Sturgeon Moon

The first Full Moon this month was called the Sturgeon Moon, which is the traditional name for the Full Moon in August. Most known names for the Full Moon come from Native Americans, who based them on the features of a particular month. For many tribes living around the Great Lakes, August was traditionally the time to fish for sturgeon, hence the name for the August Full Moon.

What is a sturgeon?

Sturgeon is a large freshwater fish that has been living on the Earth since prehistoric times. Since then, they haven’t undergone any significant changes: some even call them living fossils. They can grow to over 2-3.5 meters long and weigh around 90 kilos. Female sturgeons can live up to 150 years; it takes them about 20 years to start reproducing, and they can only have offspring every four years.

There are about 26 sturgeon species worldwide, and all of them are endangered due to intense overfishing and water pollution. Let the name of the August Full Moon be a reminder to take care of nature.

August Full Moon alternative names

The Full Moon in August also marked the start of a harvesting season in the Northern Hemisphere. Native American names for the August Full Moon include Corn Moon, Ricing Moon, and Black Cherries Moon. The Anglo-Saxons called it the Grain Moon.

Among the Cree people, the August Full Moon was known as the Flying Up Moon because the young birds learn to fly around this time. Many cultures also call it the Red Moon because of the reddish shade the Moon acquires in the late summer haze.

The other alternative names for the August Full Moon include:

  • Chinese: Harvest Moon
  • Celtic: Dispute Moon
  • Wiccan: Herbal Moon
  • Cherokee: Fruit Moon
  • Southern Hemisphere: Snow Moon, Storm Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon

When is the next Sturgeon Moon?

The next Sturgeon Moon will occur on August 19, 2024, at 18:26 GMT (2:26 p.m. EDT). It will also be a Supermoon and a Blue Moon (the third of four Full Moons in an astronomical season).

What constellation is the Sturgeon Moon in?

The Sturgeon Moon of 2024 will be in the constellation Aquarius. Download Sky Tonight or Star Walk 2 and track the position of our natural satellite anytime.

Bright dot near the Full Moon in August 2023

On August 31, the same night the Blue Moon rises, the ringed planet that will be at opposition will be near the Moon and shine brighter than usual (mag 0.4). Find all the details in our article about the planets next to the Moon.

When is the next Full Moon in 2023?

The next Full Moon, or the Harvest Moon, will be on September 29, 2023. Use our colorful Full Moon calendar to learn the upcoming Full Moons' times, dates, and names.

Full Moons 2023
When is the next Full Moon in 2023? When is the Super Blue Moon this year? Check our Full Moon calendar for all dates, times, names, Supermoons, and more for the year.
See Infographic

Full Moon August 2023: a summary

August 2023 has two Full Moons. The Sturgeon Supermoon passed on August 1 at 18:31 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT). The Blue Moon will occur on August 31 at 01:35 GMT (August 30, 09:35 p.m. EDT). It will become the biggest and brightest Full Moon this year.

We wish you clear skies and successful observations!