Last Supermoon of 2019

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Jessica Townsend, Editor

Last Wednesday, March 20, the “super worm equinox moon,” was visible in the night sky. The moon reached it’s full phase at 9:43 pm ET.

This is the third of this year’s back-to-back supermoons, the past two being the lunar eclipse on January 21 (super blood wolf moon), and February 19 (snow moon). It is also the last time a supermoon will be visible in 2019.

What is a “supermoon” anyways? A supermoon is an event where Earth’s moon looks larger and brighter than usual. When the moon orbits Earth in an elliptical motion over the course of 27 days, there is one period where it is closest to Earth. During this time, the moon becomes, “30% brighter and 14% larger” (space). This is often too insignificant to see with the naked eye, but when it coincides with a full moon, it becomes known as a supermoon.

It is rare for a full moon to appear at this specific time in orbit. It is even rarer for it to coincide with the spring equinox. In fact, a full moon has not appeared this close to the first day of spring since 2000, and will not occur again until 2030 (earthsky). This year, the equinox occurred less than four hours before the supermoon.

The term “super worm equinox moon,” is used to reference the spring equinox, as well as “worm moon,” because according to folklore tradition, “it occurs at a time when the frosty ground is melting and earthworms start to emerge” (nbcnews).