Get ready for the 'super worm equinox moon'

Pablo Tucker
September 28, 2019

It's called a "super worm moon" (or "full worm moon", depending on who you talk to), and it's the final super moon of the year.

For many this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to get outside and see this unique moon, as the next such moon is not expected to grace our skies until 2044.

What made this Equinox Full Moon so rare, though, is that it was also a perigee "Supermoon" - a Full Moon that occurs when the Moon is near, or at, its closest distance to the Earth on that particular orbit.

"When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon-and that's where we get a "supermoon". At its full perigee, the moon will be about 223,306 miles from Earth.

Then, at 9.43pm ET on Wednesday (9.43am, Thursday, Singapore time), the moon will officially reach its full phase.

The March full moon is also known as a "full sap moon" - a reference to the time of year when sap starts to flow from maple trees. In March, the ground begins to soften enough for worms to start reappearing.

The best time for seeing a super moon is when it is just above the horizon. The two supermoons were located about 222,000 and 221,700 miles away from Earth, respectively.

Astronomically speaking, the March equinox marks 1 of the 4 major turning points in Earth's cycle of seasons, Spring. On March 20, the Moon is almost 18,000 km closer to Earth than on May 18, thus it appears slightly bigger in the sky, and it is noticeably brighter.

Every month, the full moon has a different name.

In addition, full moons during northern hemisphere winters tend to be brighter because the Earth and Moon are closer to the Sun and because the moon sits higher in the sky. A Super Blood Wolf Moon wowed the world when arrived in January and a Super Snow Moon followed hot on its heels in February.

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