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On Monday evening, the Sturgeon Moon will light up the night sky.

Cailey Rizzo
August 04, 2017

While the name may conjure up a mental image of a moon decorated with caviar craters, the full moon in the month of August actually got its name from Native American tribes along the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.

It was around August that sturgeon were most plentiful and easily caught. But different tribes had different names for the moon based on their agriculture. Some call it the “Full Green Corn Moon,” the “Wheat Cut Moon,” “Moon When All Things Ripen” or the “Blueberry Moon.”

Related: 25 Perfect Spots for Watching the Total Solar Eclipse Crossing the U.S.

The moon will actually reach its perfect peak at 1:11 p.m. ET on Monday, so technically once the moon rises, viewers in the U.S. will actually see an almost-full waning gibbous moon. However, most people will not be able to spot the difference when it appears in the eastern sky, starting August 6.

Although the moon won’t appear all that spectacular or unusual to those in the U.S., travelers to Africa, Asia or Australia will be able to catch a glimpse of a partial lunar eclipse, ahead of the total solar eclipse on August 21.

A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through some of the Earth’s shadow. They happen between two to four times a year and always come paired with a solar eclipse. (They’re usually within two weeks of each other.)

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