March’s full moon – a supermoon, some say – will dazzle skywatchers this Sunday (March 28), as the warm weather of spring invites more people to look out to gaze upward.
The full moon lasts only a moment, but devoted Moon viewers can catch it at 2:48 p.m. EDT (18:48 UTC) on Sunday, when the moon appears opposite the sun in longitude on Earth, according to a NASA statementPeople who miss this fleeting moment can still see a large, round moon – the rocky satellite will appear full for three days, from Saturday morning (March 27) through Tuesday morning (March 30).
And while it may be hard to say, some say the moon of March is a super moon, depending on how you interpret the term “ super moon. ” This word was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle, who said it refers to a new or full moon that falls within 90% of the perigee, when the moon is closest to SoilVarious publications and experts, such as TimeandDate.com and astronomer Fred Espenak, have different thresholds for determining when the moon is close enough to qualify as a supermoon. This year, some say 2021 will have four full supermoons (March to June), while others say there will be three supermoons (April to June), and some argue there will only be two full supermoons (April and June). ). May), NASA reported.
So, which moon will be the “superest”? “The April and May full moons are almost equal to the nearest full moons of the year,” NASA said in the statement. “The full moon on May 26, 2021 will be slightly closer to Earth than the full moon on April 26, 2021, but by just under 0.04%.”
Related: In photos: glitzy images of a supermoon
This weekend’s full moon has many names, but is often referred to as the Worm Moon, according to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac reporting in the 1930s about what the Native Americans called the full moon. According to this lore, indigenous tribes in the American South reportedly called it “Worm Moon,” after earthworms that emerge around this time of year. These invertebrates were wiped out in the region by glaciers about 12,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, but they were reintroduced with the arrival of Old World settlers who brought invasive species from Europe and Asia, according to NASA. Once the snow pack melts in the spring, these invasive earthworms often squirm.
Other names for the March moon are the crow, crust, juice, and sugar moon. According to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, the northwestern tribes in the United States called it the Crow Moon, for the screeching of crows that heralded the end of winter, while other groups called it the Crust Moon, after the crust of snow that freezes at night, or the Sap or Sugar Moon, because early spring is the time of year to tap maples.
Meanwhile, in the Hebrew calendar, this full moon falls in the middle of the month of Nisan, which is related to the observance of Passover (or Passover), a holiday that commemorates the biblical event of the Jewish people who left slavery in Egypt. This year, the Passover begins at sunset on March 27 and lasts until nightfall on April 4.
According to the Western Christian Church calendar, this moon is known as the Easter Moon, which is the key to determining the date of Easter. The word “Paschal” is the Latin word for Pesach. Usually, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. However, due to differences in the Eastern and Western Church calendars, Easter falls on two dates this year: April 4 for Western Christianity, which considers March’s moon to be the first full moon of spring, and May 2 for the Eastern Orthodox Church, which considers the next full moon to be the Easter moon, NASA reported.
For Hindus, this full moon corresponds to the festival of colors, known as Holi, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, as well as the beginning of spring. This year, Holi falls on March 29. In Sri Lanka, this full moon is called Medin or Madin Poya, and it marks the Buddha’s first meeting with his father after his enlightenment, NASA reported. For followers of Islam, this full moon falls in the middle of the month of Sha’ban, the month before Ramadan.
Skywatchers can also see other celestial events, unless overcast skies prevent it. On Sunday, the day of the full moon, Mars will be the only visible planet after nightfall. Watch for it on the western horizon, NASA recommended.
To watch a live stream of the Worm Moon, tune in to the Virtual telescope project, which will show the full moon rising over Rome.
Originally published on Live Science.