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Full Sturgeon Moon Tonight for Oregon Coast - Still Some Meteors

Published 08/18/2016 at 7:21 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

full moon over the Oregon coast

(Oregon Coast) – Tonight's full moon is called the Sturgeon moon, and on the Oregon coast and around inland Oregon it began already about 2:30 p.m. this afternoon (Thursday). For this region, it won't rise until almost 8 p.m., and then disappear again at 6:35 a.m. in the west. (Above: full moon over the Oregon coast).

Meanwhile, there are still some shooting stars from the Perseids to look for, and a slight eclipse is coming to some parts of the world in the next month. The lingering meteor showers should still make for a few spectacular moments along beach towns and high places like those at Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Depoe Bay and Yachats.

The moon – known as Luna – will be in the constellation of Capricornus. It reaches its highest point of 32 degrees about 1:12 a.m., in the middle of the night on Friday morning.

Jim Todd, astronomy expert with Portland's OMSI, said fishing tribes of north America got this full moon its name. Sturgeon, a rather large fish of the Great Lakes region and other large bodies of water, were in greater numbers and more easily caught in August.

“A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze,” Todd said. “It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.”

Other cultures had different names for it. In China it was the Harvest Moon, while in Celtic cultures it was the Dispute Moon. Above: the moon descending at Manzanita, on the Oregon coast.

“And in the Southern Hemisphere, where it is currently winter, August's full moon has been known as the Snow Moon, Storm Moon, Hunger Moon and Wolf Moon,” Todd said.

There are still some meteors to be spotted, left over from the tail end of the Perseid meteor showers. It completely ends on August 25. But the full moon will make these weaker and less frequent meteors a problem to spot. You have may better luck – ironically – closer to the end of the shower as the moon backs off a bit.

On the Oregon coast and other rural areas of the state, spotting them will be easier because of the lack of light interference from nearby towns.

For the full moon and nearly full moon tomorrow – and the meteor showers - great viewing spots along the Oregon coast are often higher vantage points like the Neahkahnie Overlooks at Manzanita, Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach, Cape Foulweather near Depoe Bay, and the higher elevation pullouts near Cape Perpetua.

“Of these annual intersections, the Perseid Meteor Shower is the most well-known,” Todd said. “This meteor shower occurs when the Earth enters a debris path left by the comet Swift-Tuttle during its last trip past the Sun in December 1992. As comets orbit the Sun, they shed an icy, dusty debris stream along the comet's orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower.”

Todd added there is a penumbral lunar eclipse coming up on September 16, but unfortunately not for the U.S. These kinds of eclipses show the moon getting fainter but not darkened. This one, like the smaller one on September 1, will only be visible in places other than north and south America. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour


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A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
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