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March full moon: times, when and how to watch the Worm Moon

The next full moon, known as the ‘Worm Moon’, will occur on Sunday 28 March. On Tuesday 30th, it will reach its closest point to Earth in its orbit.

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March full moon: times, when and how to watch the Worm Moon
LUIS ACOSTA AFP

All eyes will be on the heavens later this evening to get a fleeting glimpse of the first Worm Moon, sometimes referred to as a supermoon as it appears 6% larger than normal due to it’s close proximity to Earth. The Worm Moon is known by other names in other parts of the world – the Crow, Lenten, Crust, Sap, or Sugar Moon; the Pesach, Passover, or Paschal Moon; the Holi Festival Moon; Medin or Madin Poya in Sri Lanka; the Shab-e-Barat or Bara'at Night Moon in the Muslim world. It was named the Worm Moon by indigenous native American tribes in the south in reference to earthworms which start to appear when winter turns to spring.

March supermoon

The full supermoon will appear bigger as it reaches its perigeethe closest point to Earth in its orbit, around 359,000 km (239,000 miles) which is expected early on Tuesday morning.

The Worm Moon will appear on Sunday afternoon at 14:48 hours EDT (that’s 11:48 in Los Angeles, 17:48 hours CEST or 19:48 BST). The craters and mountains should be easily visible through a small telescope. It will also share the sky with a planetary conjunction, but only visible to those in the southern hemisphere. For everyone else, the only visible planet in the sky will be Mars, appearing about 51 degrees above the western horizon. Some astrology followers claim that the Worm Moon will be the first of three or four supermoons in 2021, while NASA report that only two will appear this year.