m3n4.net April 21, 2019

What makes the spring equinox so special?

21 March 2019, 12:26 | Brenda Erickson

'Super Worm Moon' rises on first day of Spring

Seattle-area forecast: Clear skies, warm temps and a ‘Full Worm Supermoon’ on first day of spring

The full worm super moon should be visible a few hours after the official start to spring.

The word "super" is used to designate when the full or new moon is closest to Earth in its orbit, making it appear larger and brighter than usual. For the rest of the year, the hemisphere that is tilted towards the sun tends to have longer days with brighter illumination and the other side shorter and dimmer.

When the moon is closest to Earth, astronomers call it "perigee", said Hanneke Weitering of Space.com.

Spring equinox
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This year, the first day of spring - also known as the spring equinox - falls on March 20. Despite its slightly unsettlingly names the "worm moon" actually signifies the official start of spring which after a long terrible winter, pretty much makes it my favorite moon of all time.

And, the coincidence of this year's full moon in March and the vernal equinox is the reason we will have a rather late Easter this year, on Sunday, April 21.

The Northern Hemisphere has been gaining daylight rapidly in recent weeks, and in Baltimore, Monday was the first day of the year the sun spent more time above the horizon than below it. So, equinoxes are for kicking off spring and autumn, while solstices are for celebrating peak summer and winter.

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Hence the name, equinox, which is derived from the Latin meaning equal night. An equinox is considered to occur when Earth's equatorial plane passes directly through the centre of the sun. Because of the time differences involved, the equinox will occur at 8.58am Sydney time (Thursday, March 21). Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 20.

Stargazers will also enjoy the added extra that the Moon's arrival will coincide with the spring equinox - marking the end of winter.

There are two equinoxes every year, in March and September.

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That will be almost 5 hours after the exact moment of the spring equinox at 5:58 p.m.

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