‘Full worm supermoon’ rises shortly after Wednesday evening’s spring equinox

‘Full worm supermoon’ rises shortly after Wednesday evening’s spring equinox

Kenneth Drake
March 21, 2019

The moon will also be at an exceptionally close distance in its orbit to Earth, meaning that it will appear 14 percent larger and 12 percent brighter than usual - thus, a supermoon.

The "super worm equinox moon", as it's known, follows January's "super blood wolf moon" and February's "super snow moon". Also called the Vernal Equinox, this day marks the first day of the spring season.

Coincidentally, it's also the spring (vernal) equinox - one of only two days during the year when most people on earth will see near-exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. The March Full Moon is named "Worm Moon", along with "Crow Moon", "Sap Moon" and "Lenten Moon".

India will welcome the equinox (Latin for equal day and night), when it will be Holi, the festival of colours. The Spring Equinox, the first day of the season, falls on Thursday. According to National Geographic, this moon coincides with the time of year when earthworms begin to emerge from the thawing winter soil.

At the equinox, Earth's 23.5-degree axis is oriented such that the northern and southern hemispheres are receiving equal sunlight.

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Sophie Yeomans, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said there is a good chance that sky-gazers, particularly in England, will be able to catch a glimpse of the super worm moon.

The next supermoon won't be until 2020 - so be sure to watch it one way or another! The March equinox marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator - the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth's equator - from south to north and vice versa in September. This only happens a few times every century so Wednesday was set to be a pretty special day.

The reason why the moon is closer on some years and not others is because the moon's orbit around the Earth is not perfectly circular, but rather elliptical.

The spring equinox officially starts at 5:58 p.m. Wednesday.