A supermoon will be visible on the night sky on Wednesday, assuming there would be no spring showers. Skywatchers better be ready for this rare treat.
Dubbed a Super Worm Moon, the moon is expected to be at its perigee (the point in the moon's orbit closest to Earth) on March 19 at around 3:45 p.m. ET and reach its full phase at 9:43 p.m. ET on March 20. This phenomenon will make the moon appear 14 percent larger and 12 times brighter than usual, leading to a "supermoon."
Supermoon And Spring Equinox
However, what makes the event a little more special is that it would happen at almost the same time as the vernal (otherwise known as spring) equinox, wherein the day and night will exactly be the same length. During the March equinox, Earth gets equal amounts of day and night because the sun's light directly reaches the Earth's equator.
During this time, those in the Northern Hemisphere will officially experience the beginning of spring, while autumn begins in the Southern Hemisphere. This year's spring equinox will begin 5:58 p.m. ET Wednesday, just a few hours ahead of the supermoon.
What's With The Name?
A lot of people are wondering how the phenomenon got its Super Worm Moon name. The "super" and "moon" are quite understandable, given that this will result in a fairly bigger and brighter moon. However, what about "worm?"
According to reports, these names come from traditional markers that point the start of a certain season. In North America, the start of spring meant the ground will soon be moist, soft, and a lot warmer compared to a few months ago during winter. It is during this time that worms from below make it to surface. That is where the Worm Moon comes from.
The Super Worm Moon is said to be the last of the three back-to-back supermoons in 2019, so better get those binoculars, telescopes, and cameras ready. Experts say it is best to check the skies just after local sunsets on March 20 and 21.