Published: Wed, March 20, 2019
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

The 'Full Worm Supermoon' marks the start of spring this week

The 'Full Worm Supermoon' marks the start of spring this week

The March equinox is the start of spring for the Northern Hemisphere.

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. The last time a full moon occurred so close to the vernal, or, spring equinox was in March 2000, when they were four hours apart.

From the United Kingdom, the moon should reach 100% illumination at 1.43am on Thursday. The previous super moons which are commonly referred to as the "snow" and "wolf" moons occurred back January and February this year.

Spring begins this Wednesday, March 20 at 5:58 p.m. EDT.

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During this time, the moon will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual as it reaches its closes point to Earth. The next supermoons are set to light up the skies on March 9 and April 8, 2020. Perigee happens because the moon's orbit is not a ideal circle, so there are times when it is relatively close to us on Earth and other times when it is comparatively far away.

The arrival of spring and the supermoon will also almost coincide with an asteroid passing close to Earth, according to the Minor Planet Center.

In the Washington region, the full moon rises in the eastern sky at 7:02 p.m. Wednesday, shortly before sunset at 7:19 p.m. It should stay dry through the evening, with rain possible later at night.

The "Super Worm Moon" is considered a super moon, because it will appear roughly 10 percent larger than average on Wednesday night. Clear skies are expected.

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