Worm Moon Illumination & Spectacular Night Sky Sights in March 2023
On Tuesday morning, March 7, 2023, the full moon will reach its peak illumination at 7:40 AM EST. This is an exciting time for skywatchers, as the full moon will appear full for about three days, from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning, with the possibility of being visible until early Wednesday evening. This month’s full moon, also known as the Worm Moon, is named after beetle larvae that begin to emerge from their winter hideouts to welcome spring.
In addition to the full moon, the night sky will offer other spectacular sights. If the weather cooperates, sky-gazers may be able to spot a rare moonbow, the nighttime equivalent of a solar rainbow. This phenomenon only occurs when the moon is low in the sky and refracted through water droplets in the air.
The Old Farmer's Almanac notes that this month's full moon will have additional nicknames, such as the Sap Moon, Crow Moon, and Sugar Moon. In the northern hemisphere, this is also the first full moon of spring and is often called the Paschal Full Moon. In Hindu culture, this full moon marks the festival of Holi, a celebration of the love of the god Radha Krishna and the triumph of good over evil.
2023 will be a special year for sky-watchers, as it will have four supermoons. The first one will occur on July 3, the second on August 1, the third on August 31 (which will also be a blue moon), and the fourth on September 29. In addition, October 28 will feature a partial lunar eclipse, and an annular solar eclipse will take place on October 14, visible across North, Central, and South America.
Finally, throughout the month of March, the Moon will appear near other planets and stars in the night sky. On Wednesday evening, March 22, the Moon will be 1.5 degrees to the lower right of the thin, waxing crescent Moon. On Thursday evening, March 23, the thin waxing crescent Moon will appear about 6 degrees below the bright planet Venus. On Wednesday evening, March 1, Venus and Jupiter will appear just one-half degree apart. On Sunday morning, March 19, the thin, waning crescent Moon will be near the planet Saturn.
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1. “Full Worm Moon: Will VA Conditions Favor A Moonbow?” Patch, 6 Mar. 2023, https://patch.com/virginia/across-va/full-worm-moon-will-va-conditions-favor-moonbow
2. “Manifestation rituals for Full Worm Moon in March 2023” HITC – Football, Gaming, Movies, TV, Music, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2023/03/07/manifestation-rituals-for-full-worm-moon-in-march-2023/
3. “Watch the full ‘Worm Moon' wriggle into the sky on March 7” Yahoo Life, 5 Mar. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/watch-full-worm-moon-wriggle-110000065.html
4. “EXPLAINED: All about the Worm Moon and why is it the best time to manifest your dreams” WION, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.wionews.com/entertainment/lifestyle/news-explained-why-is-it-called-worm-moon-and-the-period-of-manifesting-your-dreams-568999
5. “A worm moon will illuminate the sky this week” kwwl.com, 6 Mar. 2023, https://www.kwwl.com/news/a-worm-moon-will-illuminate-the-sky-this-week/article_42b35cb3-2276-5dc1-a88f-0bc59ed2dbed.html
6. “Don't Miss: Worm Moon AKA Death Moon” SciTechDaily, 6 Mar. 2023, https://scitechdaily.com/dont-miss-worm-moon-aka-death-moon/