The first supermoon of the year is upon us!
On March 9, 2020, the last full moon of the winter will appear, and it will be super. The full Super Worm Moon will appear on Monday, reaching its peak at 1:48pm E.T., according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The March full moon is the first super moon of the year and will be followed by two more super moons in April and May.
Here’s what to know about the celestial event.
What is a Worm Moon?
No, it has nothing to do with the move you did at your eighth grade dance.
Every month of the year has a full moon — they occur every 27.5 days — and each of those moons has its own nickname. Last month’s moon is known as the Snow Moon (or sometimes, the Hunger Moon), while April’s moon is called the Pink Moon, May is the Flower Moon, June is the Strawberry moon and July, the Buck Moon.
Each nickname is meant to correspond with the season, and the naming traditions can often be traced back to Native Americans. The Worm Moon is named for the time of year when the ground begins to thaw after the winter. It signified that crops would be able to be planted and that earthworms would soon be visible and the birds would return from migrating South for the cold season, signaling the start of spring.
Other names for the March full moon are Crow Moon and Sap Moon, as both the return of crows and the sap from trees also signified spring’s return.
The Worm Moon is the last moon before the spring equinox, one of two days each year where day and night are equal in length. The spring equinox marks the start of the warmer months, while the fall equinox, in September, signals the coming of winter weather. This year, the equinox will occur on March 19, 2020.
When will I be able to see the full Worm Moon?
The full moon will reach its peak on Monday, March 9. According to NASA, it will appear full for three days from early Sunday until early Wednesday. Catching the moon on Tuesday will give you a chance to see it at its closest position in relation to the Earth.
What is a super moon?
A full moon occurs when the moon looks totally illuminated from the Earth’s perspective. The moon does not give off any light on its own, which means that it isn’t really glowing, but reflecting the light around it coming from the sun. A full moon occurs when the moon is entirely lit up from the Earth’s perspective.
A super moon is the result of the full moon coinciding with the moon’s closest point of orbit in relation to the Earth, which is known as perigee. The result is that the moon is not only full, it looks closer to us and brighter than usual.
The March Worm Moon is the first super moon this year. February’s full moon was close to being super, but not quite in perigee. There will be two more in 2020, occurring in April and May.
What’s special about the next full moon?
The next full moon, known as the Pink Moon, will occur on April 7th and will be just as super as the one in March.