2019 has started not long ago and has already given us incredible sky gazing moments.
But there’s still one supermoon in line for us this year, and it marks the beginning of Spring and coincides with the moment an asteroid (2019 EA2) will hurtle past Earth.
The third supermoon of 2019 will light up the sky brightly on March 20, bringing to an end a trifecta of supermoons for the year 2019 that began in January.
The supermoon on March 20 is noted not only because an asteroid will zip past Earth, but because the full moon will happen the same day as the Spring Equinox.
In fact, the last time these two events coincided was in March of 1981.
The moon is expected to be its fullest and brightest after midnight on Wednesday morning at precisely 1:43 am GMT (9:43 pm today ET).
And just like the supermoons of January and February, the March Supermoon also has a peculiar name.
March 20 Supermoon is the “Super Worm Equinox Moon”
The event is referred to as the super Worm Equinox Moon or the ‘Full Worm Super Moon’ after observations made by Native Americans who noticed that worms emerged from the soil at the start of spring.
The March Supermoon is also colloquially known as the Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon or Sugar Moon.
Tribes in the Northern United States knew the even as the row Moon, as the cawing of crows usually signaled the end of winter, and start of spring.
Cool, What’s a Super Moon?
A Supermoon is a term given to Earth’s satellite when it’s full, and its orbit is at its perigee, the closest point to Earth.
The term supermoon is not something usually used by astronomers.
In fact, scientists refer to the super moon as… well… the full moon.
The word ‘supermoon’ was first introduced by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to a brighter than usual full moon.
The terminology ‘supermoon’ refers to when our satellite is at its perigee, the closest position to Earth, on its elliptical monthly orbit.
There’s also a term for when the moon is located at the furthest point in its monthly orbit and it is called the apogee, giving rise to the so-called micro-moon.
But who would get excited for a… micro-moon, right?
When can I observe the Super Moon?
The full moon is declared when the Moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective. This occurs when Earth is located between the Sun and the Moon.
This means that the lunar hemisphere facing Earth – the near side – is completely sunlit and appears as a circular disk, while the far side is dark. The full moon occurs once roughly every month.
This happens at the same time all around the world and will take place precisely at 01:42 a.m. UTC on March 21, 2019.
Translated into different time zones, it means the full moon will be visible at:
01:42 a.m. GMT, March 21 (London)
02:42 a.m. CET, March 21 (mainland Europe)
21:42 p.m. EDT, March 20 (Washington D.C.)
20:42 p.m. CDT, March 20 (Chicago)
19:42 p.m. MDT, March 20 (Denver)
18:42 p.m. MST & PDT, March 20 (Phoenix & Los Angeles)
Today’s supermoon coincides with an asteroid zipping past Earth. No, the space rock will not impact us, and the supermoon will not cause an apocalyptic event.
As explained by the Minor Planet Center, asteroid 2019 EA2, will zip by Earth at 190,246 miles away — closer than the moon. The space rock is around 79 feet in diameter and is only a bit larger than the space rock that exploded in Earth’s atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013.
2019 EA2 is expected to safely pass by Earth without causing any incidents on March 21 and 22, depending on your location on Earth.