Super Worm Moon: March 20, 2019 Mar 18, 2019 17:53:21 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Mar 18, 2019 17:53:21 GMT -5
Super Worm Moon: March 20, 2019
Skygazers are in for a treat this week when the third and final supermoon of the year occurs. The celestial event follows February’s “Super Snow Moon” and January’s stunning “Super Blood Moon” eclipse.
This week’s celestial event is also a supermoon, an event that occurs when the Moon’s orbit brings it closest to Earth during its full phase. The Moon will reach this point on March 19, when it will be 223,308 miles away. “When a full moon appears at perigee [its closest point to Earth] it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon – and that’s where we get a ‘supermoon’,” NASA explains on its website, noting the phrase was coined in 1979. However, the Moon was closer to Earth during the Supermoons of January 21 and February 19, when it was 222,043 and 221, 681 miles from Earth, respectively. The average distance between the Earth and Moon is 238,855 miles. The Moon will appear particularly large because of what is known as “the moon illusion,” an optical illusion. “This ‘Moon illusion’ happens when the Moon is close to the horizon and there are objects within our line of sight such as trees or buildings,” according to NASA. “Because these relatively close objects are in front of the Moon, our brain is tricked into thinking the Moon is much closer to the objects that are in our line of sight. At Moonrise or set, it only appears larger than when it is directly overhead because there are no nearby objects with which to compare it.”
The Moon will reach it’s full phase at 9:43 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, March 20, four hours after the Vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Full Moon of March is called the “Full Worm Moon,” a name bestowed upon the satellite by some American Indian tribes because it occurs when the ground is softening and earthworms become active.
Sources: James Rogers, Fox News, March 18, 2019, and The Old Farmer's Almanac.