By Brian Lada, Meteorologist AccuWeather and Associate Editor
March 18, 2019, 11:11:18 EDT
Wednesday will mark the official start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and a few hours later, astronomers will be able to see something that will not be visible until 2020.
"The vernal equinox is at 17:58. EDT on March 20th, "said AccuWeather blogger Dave Samuhel. "The moon fills up only a few hours later, at 9:43 pm. EDT. "
This full moon will be the third and last supermoon of the year. The next supermoon will not increase until February 9, 2020. Supermoons appear slightly larger and brighter than normal full moons.
"Interestingly, the full moon of March will also be the first full moon of the astronomical spring. [which began on March 1]Said Samuhel.
The full moon rises behind the rooftops of New York City, including the Empire State Building, in the center, and the Chrysler Building, left, seen from downtown Newark, NJ, on Sunday. March 2017. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez)
The vernal equinox signals the changing seasons around the world, marking the transition from winter to spring in the northern hemisphere and the transition from summer to autumn in the southern hemisphere.
"The equinox occurs when the Earth reaches a point in its orbit around the sun where the sun's rays fall directly over the equator," Samuhel said.
"The day and the night will have about the same length on the whole globe," he added.
Only hours after the change of the astronomical seasons, the full moon will rise above the horizon.
These two events are exceptionally close to each other. However, this will not make the moon appear differently from other times of the year.
"The last time the full moon and the spring equinox coincided so closely (at 4 hours interval), it was March 2000, but the last time that they were were rolled out on the same date, it was March 20, 1981, "said Almanac du Vieux Fermier on his website.
What's a supermoon?
The astronomy blog of Dave Samuhel
The full moon of March still bears the nickname of Worm Moon.
"Traditionally, the moon we see in March calls the full worm moon. At this time of the year, the soil begins to soften enough for earthworms to re-emerge, inviting blackbirds and birds to feed – a true sign of spring, "said Old Farmer's Almanac.
Other March full moon nicknames include Sap Moon, Crow Moon and Lenten Moon.
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