What is a ‘Worm Moon’, how can it be viewed in the sky tonight - and when is the spring equinox?

There will be a full moon in the sky tonight (March 18) here is everything you need to know about the celestial event.

Friday, 18th March 2022, 2:42 pm

The last full moon of the winter season is known as a Worm Moon – this year it falls on Friday, March 18.

A full moon happens every 29.5 days when the Earth is directly aligned between the sun and the moon.

It will be the third full moon of 2022 and it is often called a Sugar Moon or Sap Moon.

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The Worm Moon will be on Friday March 18.

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Worm Moon.

Why is it called a Worm Moon?

Whilst other full moons have charming names like ‘Strawberry’ or ‘Flower’ you may be wondering, why this moon has been titled after a bug?

As spring returns to the country and frosts are less frequent the humble earthworm becomes active once again.

Their movement in gardens is a sign that spring is here and the bad weather is behind us.

This seasonal nature activity just happens to line up with the third full moon of the year - therefore it was named Worm Moon.

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Why do moons have names?

Every full moon has a unique name that correlates to the time of year they appear in the sky.

February’s moon is known as the Snow Moon as there are likely to be flurries of white and September’s moon is known as the Corn Moon as it lines up with harvest season.

Different moons have had nicknames throughout the centuries but the current ones can be traced back to a 1930s Almanac which contained the history of Native American culture.

What are the other full moons called?

January : The Wolf Moon is named after the howling of hungry wolves who go hungry through the winter months. Also known as the Old Moon and Ice Moon.

February : The Snow Moon is named after the seasonal winter weather - it also goes by Storm Moon and Hunger Moon.

March: The Worm Moon is named after the earthworm which signifies the start of spring. Also known as the Death Moon, Chaste Moon and Crust Moon.

April: The Pink Moon is named after a wildflower. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.

May: The Flower Moon was named due to the blooms that sprout at the time of year. Also known as the Hare Moon and the Milk Moon.

June: The Strawberry Moon gets its name from the harvest of the berry of the same name - which happens in June. Also known as Rose Moon or Hot Moon.

July: The Buck Moon was named after male deer who shed their antlers in July. Also known as Thunder Moon or Hay Moon.

August: The Sturgeon Moon is named after a fish which thrives during the later summer months. Also known as Grain Moon or Red Moon.

September: Full Corn Moon gets its name from the harvest season. Also known as Barley Moon.

October: The autumn season is known to be good for hunters therefore October’s moon was named Hunter’s Moon. Also known as Travel Moon and Dying Grass Moon.

November: Beavers are active in North America during November which is why November’s moon is named the Beaver Moon. Also known as the Frost Moon.

December: The last full moon of the year is known as the Cold Moon due to the winter weather. Also known as the Long Night Moon and the Oak Moon.

What does the Worm Moon mean for astrology?

The full moon will be in Virgo on March 18 - for those who believe in astrology it means there will be motivational energy coming in.

It is a good time to start a DIY project or a new hobby.

How can I see the Worm Moon?

The full moon was most visible on Thursday, March 17 but it will still be bright in the sky on Friday, March 18.

The Met Office is predicting a clear night over Sheffield so it is perfect viewing weather.

The moon reached its peak at 7.18am this morning but it will re-emerge this evening - it is predicted the best time to catch a glimpse is 10.29pm.

When is the spring equinox?

The spring equinox will be on Sunday, March 20 at 3.33pm – just two days after the Worm Moon.

It is also known as the Vernal Equinox and not surprisingly it signals the start of the spring season.

Many will be thankful that days will get longer and nights shorter after the equinox.