The last super moon of the year is almost here!
On March 20, 2019, sky-gazers will be able to see a celestial event known as the “Super Worm Moon,” according to National Geographicthis link opens in a new tab.
While that phrase may sound like something out of a children’s book, the name actually has a legendary meaning. The Old Farmer’s Almanacthis link opens in a new tab reports that the full moon in March is always known as the “worm moon” because it marks the time of year when earthworms begin to come out in the soil.
The word “super” is used to designate when the full or new moon is closest to Earth in its orbit, making it appear larger and brighter than usual.
However, according to the Almanac, most people won’t be able to spot the difference between most super moons and typical full moons.
According to National Geographic, on March 20, the Super Worm Moon will be 223,309 miles from Earth at 3:45 p.m. EST, making it especially close to the planet. Then, at 9:43 p.m. EST, the moon will reach its full phase and appear 14 percent larger and 12 percent brighter than usual.
This year has already brought two super moons, but the Super Worm Moon marks the last full super moon of the year. The celestial event also happens to fall on the day of the Spring Equinox, which marks the first official day of spring.
The Spring Equinox, which always lands on either March 20 or 21, marks one of the two days each year that night and day are almost exactly equal in lengththis link opens in a new tab everywhere on earth.
Astronomy website EarthSky.orgthis link opens in a new tab reports that a full moon hasn’t occurred this close to the first day of spring in 19 years, and notes that the two events won’t coincide again until 2030.