Sturgeon Full Moon and an Optical Effect

The “Buck Moon” rises behind Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City on July 5, 2020 as seen from Kearny, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

The Full Sturgeon Moon

August’s full Moon will appear this evening of Sunday, August 2, before reaching peak illumination at 11:59 A.M. Eastern Time on Monday, August 3. On either August 2nd or 3rd, look toward the southeast after sunset to catch a glimpse of the Sturgeon Moon rising, weather permitting!

August’s full Moon will hang relatively low in the night sky, which makes it look larger due to perspective (Ebbinghaus Illusion). Why is the Moon hanging lower? A full Moon is opposite the Sun, which as we all know, is higher in the sky during summer. So the full Moon runs lower.


The Ebbinghaus illusion is one optical effect that might help explain the moon illusion. In this illustration, the green circles are exactly the same size, but the ones on the right appear larger than those on the left.green



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