Supermoon: Stunning moment full moon sets in Colorado
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The third Full Moon of the year is due to arrive just before March wraps up. This Full Moon is traditionally known as the Worm Moon, although it goes by different names in different parts of the world. You might also recognise this Moon as the Sugar Moon, the Paschal Moon or the Lenten Moon – because it shows up during Lent.
Christians worldwide will be particularly interested in learning when this Full Moon arrives.
In Christian tradition, Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon of spring.
Spring began this year with the spring equinox on Saturday, March 20, and Easter will follow soon after.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac explained: “In 2021, March’s Full Moon occurs after the date of the spring equinox, so it is also the Paschal Full Moon.”
When is the Worm Moon this year?
The Full Moon will hit peak illumination on Sunday, March 28.
Tonight (March 22) the Moon is still in its Waxing Gibbous phase, meaning it is only about 62 percent illuminated.
On the night of the Full Moon, the orb’s Earth-facing sight will be completely lit up by the Sun.
Every 29.53 days the Moon goes through eight distinct phases – the so-called lunar cycle.
The cycle starts and ends with a New Moon and the phases in order are: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Qaurter and Waning Crescent.
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What time will the Full Moon peak?
The Moon will hit peak brightness only for a brief moment but to the naked eye, the Full Moon will appear to hang around for three days centred on the peak.
Astronomers estimate peak illumination will occur at about 7.48pm BST on Sunday.
Remember, the clocks will move forward one hour on March 28 to account for British Summer Time.
On Sunday, the Moon will set on the western horizon by 7.06am BST.
The Moon will then rise again by 7.06pm BST in the east, meaning you will see it about 40 minutes before its peak.
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What is the meaning behind the Worm Moon’s name?
Some of the Moon’s most popular names are said to derive from the time-keeping traditions of Native American tribes.
Different tribes would name the Full Moons after seasonal changes in the landscape and wildlife.
The Pink Moon in April, for instance, is named after a type of pink flower that covers the fields at that time of the year.
Amy Nieskens of the Old Farmer’s Almanac explained: “March’s Full Moon is called the Full Worm Moon.
“This is the time of the year when the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of the robins.
“It is also called the Full Sap Moon because this is the annual time when the tapping of the maple trees begins.”
When are the other Full Moons this year?
Here are all of the Full Moons and their names this year:
- Wolf Moon – January 28
- Snow Moon – February 27
- Worm Moon – March 28
- Pink Moon – April 27
- Flower Moon – May 26
- Strawberry Moon – June 24
- Buck Moon – July 31
- Sturgeon Moon – August 30
- Harvest Moon – September 29
- Hunter’s Moon – October 28
- Beaver Moon – November 27
- Cold Moon – December 27
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