NORTHERN HEMISPHERE — Look up into the clear (we hope) night sky this week for a view of the full Moon that coincides with the first day of spring.
The Moon will reach its fullest point this month on Wednesday, Mar. 20 at 6:43 p.m. in our area — and it’s a supermoon. That means, according to NASA, the Moon will reach its full phase at the closest point to Earth along the satellite’s elliptical orbit, causing La Luna to appear larger and as much as 30 percent brighter than other times it’s full.
The March full Moon is also exceptional because it falls on the same day as the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. Also known as the vernal equinox, it’s the time of year when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, making night and day about equal in length. This year’s spring equinox precedes the full moon, taking place officially at 2:58 p.m. PST. Thus, spring will have sprung before the moon rises.
Sometimes called the worm moon, crow moon, and crust moon, the March presentation in the sky signals a time on this side of the world when the ground would usually thaw, the birds would start to caw, and a variety of invertebrates would wiggle their way to the surface in anticipation of a milder season to come. Pretty much like all of us.
The next full moon is on Apr. 19 and it’s enough to make Elle Woods howl.