Here’s how to see the full ‘Worm Moon,’ first supermoon of the year tonight

caption arrowCaption
Worm supermoon to illuminate the sky this week

The last full moon of winter is slated to rise in the skies Monday night.

Dubbed the Worm Moon, the full moon became visible to East Coast stargazers about 1:48 p.m. EDT, according to NASA's SkyCal. The moon will become visible about 13 hours before its nearest point from Earth in its orbit, which is called perigee, according to Space.com.

For those in New York City, the moonrise will occur about 7:01 p.m. EDT, and the setting of the moon will occur about 8:07 a.m. Tuesday, March 10, according to Space.com. The difference in size, which will be an angular diameter, or apparent size, of 33 arcminutes across, compared with an average of 31 arcminutes, will not be visible to the naked eye. However, for those with binoculars or a telescope, the full moon will seem brighter and slightly larger the day before and after the full moon appears.

“Most people — including experienced stargazers — cannot tell the difference between a supermoon and any other full moon, because full moons are seen only once every month, and you cannot compare one to another directly,” Rick Fienberg, a spokesperson for the American Astronomical Society, previously told Newsweek.

For most observers, the moon will look full sometime after the 1:48 p.m. visibility, specifically around sunset and setting at dawn. Luca Masi, an astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project, told Newsweek the best time to view the full moon is during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk.

caption arrowCaption
A view of the full moon over Mount Pico Sacro, just outside Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

A view of the full moon over Mount Pico Sacro, just outside Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

caption arrowCaption
A view of the full moon over Mount Pico Sacro, just outside Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

To see when the moon will rise and set in your location, you can view the  moonrise and moonset calculator provided by the Old Farmer's Almanac.

“During the twilight, the residual solar light scattered all around by our atmosphere allows us to admire the scenery, while the full moon rises or falls on the horizon,” Masi previously told Newsweek. “At night, the full moon is very bright, almost dazzling, compared to the darkness of the landscape.”

Why is it called a Worm Moon?

As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, welcoming the return of the robins, thus the origin of March’s full moon, named the Full Worm Moon, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

The more Northern Native American tribes knew this moon as the full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter.

It was also referred to as the Full Crust Moon because the snow cover becomes crusted from falling by day and freezing at night.

The Ojibwe (or Anishinaabe) peoples called the full moon of March Ziissbaakdoke Giizas, or the Sugar Moon, as March is when the maple sap starts to run, according to the Ontario Native Literacy Project. The Cree called it the Mikisiwipisim, or the Eagle Moon.

About the Author

Editors' Picks