The worm moon (and, by some definitions, a supermoon)

US Capitol Moon

The Moon, or supermoon, is seen as it rises behind the U.S. Capitol Monday, March 9, 2020, in Washington, DC. A super moon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth. Credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky

The next full moon is the worm, raven, crust, sap, or sugar moon; Passover, Passover or Paschal Moon; the Holi Festival Moon; Medin or Madin Poya; the nocturnal moon of Shab-e-Barat or Bara’at; and (according to some definitions) a Supermoon.

The next full moon will be on Sunday afternoon, March 28, 2021, appearing opposite the Sun in Earth longitude at 2:48 p.m. EDT. It will be Monday morning from India time zone east to the international date line. The Moon will appear full for about three days at this time, from Saturday morning through Monday evening until Tuesday morning.

The moon rises behind the spire of St. Dominic's Church

The Moon, or supermoon, is seen as it rises behind the spire of St. Dominic Church on Monday, March 9, 2020, in Washington, DC. A super moon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth. Credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky

In the 1930s, the Maine Farmer’s Almanac began publishing the names of the Native American moon for each month of the year. According to this almanac, on the full moon in March, it is the moon of the crow, crust, sap, sugar or worm. The northernmost tribes of the northeastern United States knew it as the Crow Moon, when the croaking of crows signaled the end of winter. Other Nordic names were the Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusty after thawing during the day and freezing at night, or the Sap (or Sugar) Moon because it’s time to hit the maples. Tribes further south called it the Worm Moon after the earthworms gush out that appear when the ground thaws. It makes sense that only the southern tribes would call this the Worm Moon. When glaciers covered the northern part of North America, they wiped out native earthworms. After these glaciers melted about 12,000 years ago, the northernmost forests have grown back without earthworms. Earthworms in these areas are now mostly invasive species introduced from Europe and Asia.

In the Hebrew calendar, months change with the new moon and full moons fall in the middle of the lunar months. This full moon is in the middle of Nisan, which corresponds to Pesach or Passover. This year, Passover begins at sunset on March 27 and ends at nightfall on April 4, 2021.

In the Western Christian ecclesiastical calendar, this is the Paschal Moon, from which the date of Easter is calculated. Paschal is the Latinized version of Pesach. Usually, the Christian holiday of Easter, also called Pascha, is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring. However, there are differences between the times of these astronomical events and the different calendars used by the Eastern and Western churches. This is one of the years where it makes a difference. Western Christianity will celebrate Easter on Sunday April 4, 2021, the Sunday after this first full moon of spring. Eastern Christianity will celebrate the full moon after the next one, while the Paschal moon and Eastern Orthodox Easter will be celebrated on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

Updating the tradition of naming moons after important phenomena related to the time of year, my friend Tom Van Wagner suggested two years ago to call it the pothole moon. It may be less motivating because of the pandemic, but in my area, at least, I haven’t encountered as many potholes this year as in previous years …

Like the full moon of the Hindu month Phalguna, this moon corresponds to the Holi festival, celebrating the victory of good over evil and the onset of spring. Among other things, Holi includes a free-for-all game involving spraying colored powders and / or colored water on anyone walking around. In 2021, Holika Dahan will be on March 28 and Holi on March 29.

Each full moon is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. This full moon is Medin or Madin Poya, marking the Buddha’s first visit to his father after his enlightenment.

In the Chinese lunisolar calendar, the months change with the new moon, and full moons fall in the middle of the lunar months. This full moon is in the middle of the second month of the Chinese calendar.

In the Islamic calendar, months begin with the first observation of the crescent moon shortly after the new moon. This full moon is near the middle of Sha’ban, the month before Ramadan and the eighth month of the calendar. Muslims celebrate the 15th day of Sha’ban as Shab-e-Barat or Bara’at Night. Shia Muslims also celebrate this as Mid-Sha’ban. This year, Shab-e-Barat is scheduled to begin at sunset on March 28 and end at sunset on March 29, 2021.

The term “supermoon” was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is less than 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth. . Supermoons have become popular over the past few decades. Depending on how you interpret this definition, in a typical year there may be 2-4 full supermoons in a row and 2-4 new supermoons in a row. Since we cannot see a new moon (except where it eclipses the Sun), what catches the public’s attention are the full super moons, because that is when the full moon appears. near its biggest and brightest every year. Different publications use slightly different thresholds to decide when a full moon is close enough to Earth to qualify as a supermoon. For 2021, some publications consider the four full moons from March to June, some the three full moons from April to June, and some only the two full moons from April and May as supermoons. The full moons of April and May are almost tied as the closest full moons to the year. The Full Moon on May 26, 2021 will be slightly closer to Earth than the Full Moon on April 26, 2021, but only 0.04%!

As usual, the wearing of properly celebrated celestial garments is encouraged in honor of the full moon. See if you notice more croaking crows, earthworms, or potholes, and celebrate the start of spring, perhaps with colorful screens (although I don’t recommend spraying color on strangers, unless you are in an area where everyone expects it because of Holi).

Supermoon moon

Credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky

Supermoons of 2021 – Definition of supermoons

The term “supermoon” was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is less than 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth. .

Supermoons have become popular over the past few decades. Depending on how you interpret this definition, in a typical year there may be 2-4 full supermoons in a row and 2-4 new supermoons in a row.

Since we cannot see a new moon (except where it eclipses the Sun), what catches the public’s attention are the full super moons, because that is when the full moon appears. near its biggest and brightest every year.

Different publications use slightly different thresholds to decide when a full moon is close enough to Earth to qualify as a supermoon.

For 2021, some publications consider the four full moons from March to June, some the three full moons from April to June, and some only the two full moons from April and May as supermoons.

The full moons of April and May are almost tied as the closest full moons to the year. The Full Moon on May 26, 2021 will be slightly closer to Earth than the Full Moon on April 26, 2021, but only 0.04%!

›Find out more about supermoons

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