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First of two full moons this August rises tonight

Posted by David Epstein  August 1, 2012 11:50 PM

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Under partly cloudy skies, at 7:30PM EDT, the full moon will rise opposite the setting sun. This is the first of two full moons this month, the second appearing on the 31st. The moon takes 29.5 days to become full so it is possible to have two full moons in a month, if the first one occurs very early in the month. Full Moon.jpegThe moon will technically be full at 11:30 PM EDT this evening in Boston. You will have to convert that to your own local time to get the exact moment of complete fullness for you. The moon will remain full for about a day. Tomorrow when it rises it will be 99.8% full, so still a full moon to most of us. The next full moon will be on the 31st of this month at 9:59AM EDT and will rise in the east at 7:02PM that evening The next time we have a month with two full moons is July 2015.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or answer your questions. Reach me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

Blue moons and no full moon
Since the moon takes just over 29 days to become full, February is the only month it is possible to not have a full moon and impossible to have a blue moon. In 2018, when February has no full moon both January and March will each have two full moons. This happens every 19 years, so again in 2037.

More moon facts
The moon of course orbits about the earth in a planet-satellite system. Our moon is one of the top 5 largest satellites associated with a planet and also is quite large as compared to Earth. Phoebe, a moon which orbits Saturn is only 1/16th the size of our moon. You would need about 81 of our moons to equal the weight of the Earth. You could fit approximately 50 moons inside a hollow earth. The diameter of the moon is just over 2000 miles across at its widest point, while the earth is nearly 8000 miles across at the equator, its widest point.


Moon names
This full moon has been given several Native American names. The most common name is the sturgeon moon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, that was easily caught in August by fishing tribes. Other tribes called it the Full Red Moon because as it rises it appears reddish through the summer haze. This may be the case in many parts of the country this evening. Other names given are the the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon, both aptly named for two crops reaching maturity this month.

Gardening tip of the week
All the moisture in the air through the weekend will create the perfect environment for plant fungus and other diseases. You should watch your garden carefully and I recommend spraying with a fungicide, organic or otherwise when it does dry out. This is especially true for tomatoes.

We have a new video for you today on a special coreopsis I planted. This is a great perennial that will come back each year and get wider and more floreforous each year. I like this video because it gives you a good understanding of how to plant almost anything. Check it out.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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