Worm moon set to delight skygazers

The second supermoon of the year is set to light up the night sky and delight skygazers on Monday evening.

Sunday, 8th March 2020, 7:49 am
Updated Sunday, 8th March 2020, 7:52 am
A super worm moon, occurring on the same day as the equinox, is seen through passing clouds in March 2019 (Picture:SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Known as the "worm moon", the celestial event is expected to be visible from 5.35pm after sunset as the moon rises in the east.

Royal Observatory astronomer Emily Drabek-Maunder said: "The March full moon is known as the worm moon, named after earthworms that emerge towards the beginning of spring as the ground thaws.

"Traditionally, monthly full moons are named from Native American tradition, but many also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic origins.

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"From those different origins, the March full moon has also been called the chaste moon, death moon, crust moon and even the sap moon after sap flowing from sugar maple trees."

This full moon will also be a supermoon, meaning it will appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter in the sky as it reaches its closest point to Earth.

Ms Drabek-Maunder told PA: "It will be slightly bigger in the sky, though this will not be easily noticeable by eye."

The moon will set in the west at sunrise on Tuesday morning around 7.13am, Ms Drabek-Maunder said.

The first supermoon event of 2020 occurred last month and the next one will take place on April 8.