The Final Supermoon of the Year Arrives Tonight
The final supermoon of 2019 will land on March 20. It's the third in a line of three consecutive supermoons that included January's lunar eclipse and a February supermoon that was the largest of the year. March's won't be the biggest and best...
The final supermoon of 2019 will land the night of Wednesday, March 20. It's the finale in a line of three consecutive supermoons that included January's lunar eclipse and a February supermoon that was the largest we will see the moon from Earth this year. March's won't be the biggest and best of the year, but it is your last opportunity for a calendar year to see the moon this brilliantly lit up in the sky.
The supermoon -- what some are calling the Super Worm Moon -- will be visible the night of March 20. It will reach full phase at 9:43pm EST, per Space.com. Though, it will be "super" all through the night. Since this full moon arrives right at the vernal equinox, it will be a hell of a way to welcome spring. (It's arguably an even better to welcome the season that free ice cream cones at Dairy Queen.)
Many claim they can spot the subtle difference between your average full moon and a supermoon even though the truth is that the difference is quite small. The moon is just 14% larger at its perigee, the closest part of its elliptical orbit relative to Earth, than it is at its apogee, the furthest point of its orbit relative to Earth. However, the moon is 30% brighter, which is part of what makes the moon so photogenic during these events. (NASA photographer Bill Ingalls previously offered tips for photographing the supermoon.)
Despite the moon being just slightly larger than usual, it's worth watching. You won't spot another supermoon until March 2020. That will be the start of another set of three consecutive supermoons, similar to what we have experienced this year. So, if the trio of exemplary full moons is making you feel like you can catch one anytime, know that it'll be a bit before the moon is once again this close to Earth.
It might be the first day of spring, but many people will still need to brave the cold to get a glimpse of the event. If that's too much to ask, try tuning into a live stream of the moon with commentary from somewhere like Slooh. (Or just ogle this great photo of the far side of the moon.)