Get ready for the entire “worm” moon, which will rise Sunday evening, March 28, in the eastern sky.
The name likely refers to the earthworms that appear in the soil as the weather gets warmer, inviting hungry birds to feed on them.
For millennia, people worldwide, including Native Americans in the eastern and central USA, named the months after nature’s cues. According to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, each full moon has its name.
“The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon,” the almanack said. “Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.”
The Old Farmers’ Almanac said that another explanation for the worm moon name refers to a different sort of “worm” – beetle larvae – which begin to emerge from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time of the year.
It’s also sometimes considered the last full moon of winter. This year, however, it’s the first full moon of spring.
The moon will look most spectacular just as it appears above the eastern horizon early Sunday evening, even though the precise moment the moon is complete is a few hours earlier, at 2:50 p.m. EDT.
It will also look plenty big Saturday and Monday nights. It seems exceptionally vast to us when it’s near the horizon because of the “moon illusion,” when it looks larger there than it does when it’s high in the sky.
According to NASA, other names for this month’s full moon include the crow, crust, sap, and sugar moon.
Also, by some definitions, it’s a supermoon, meaning that it’s a bit closer to the Earth than during an average full moon. “Different publications use slightly different thresholds for deciding when a full moon is close enough to the Earth to qualify as a supermoon,” NASA said..