This year’s third and last supermoon will blaze in the sky tomorrow night (clouds permitting) – marking the beginning of spring.
It’s described as the ‘worm’ supermoon, as it comes at the moment when the ground thaws, enabling worms to poke their heads up and get eaten by birds.
This year’s supermoon also coincides with the spring equinox – the moment when we officially pass from winter into spring.
Supermoons can be up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than normal full moons – and appear closer due to the moon’s wonky orbit.
The best time to see tomorrow night’s supermoon will be early in the morning,
This is the third and last supermoon of the year, with last month having seen the super blood wolf moon, which combined a supermoon and a lunar eclipse.
The term ‘supermoon’ was coined in 1979, with NASA saying, ‘When a full moon appears at perigee [its closest point to Earth] it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon – and that’s where we get a “supermoon”.’
It’s the closest coincidence of a full moon with the March equinox since March 2000, 19 years ago, Earthsky says.
In many areas, the moon won’t look obviously bigger, but will be much brighter, Earthsky says.
NASA photographer Bill Ingalls offered tips on how to photograph supermoons, saying that it’s key to remember it’s a moving object.
He says, ‘It’s a balancing act between trying to get the right exposure and realizing that the shutter speed typically needs to be a lot faster.
Ingalls says, ‘Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference
to anything. Instead, think of how to make the image creative – that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place.’
‘You’re not going to get a giant moon in your shot, but you can do something more panoramic, including some foreground that’s interesting. Think about being in an urban area where it’s a little bit brighter.’