Supermoon 2019: Spectacular Super Worm Moon lights up night skies across the world

Sean Morrison

Stargazers across the world have been treated to the third and final supermoon of the year.

The Super Worm Moon lit up the night skies across the globe and appeared in the UK in the early hours of Thursday.

Spectacular images of the rare phenomenon showed the moon rising high above famous landmarks in the US, Spain, Cyprus and Hungry.

It coincided with the Spring Equinox and completed a hat trick of supermoons visible in skies over winter, with January 21 seeing a "super blood moon" and February 19 a "super snow moon".

The supermoon is seen above the Empire State Building in New York (REUTERS)

In the UK, the moon was expected to be at its brightest at around 1.43am, but from the US your best chance of seeing was at around 9.42pm EST and 6.42pm PST.

A view of the supermoon over the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Galicia, Spain (EPA)

A supermoon happens only when a full moon aligns with the point closest to the earth in the moon's elliptical orbit, known as the perigee.

During this time, the moon will appear 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual as it reaches its closes point to Earth.

A Worm Moon is simply the term used by ancient Native American tribes and Europeans for a full moon that lands in March.

The supermoon rises over the illuminated library of the University of Cyprus, Nicosia (EPA)

Ancient people used to mark the changing seasons by following the lunar months, naming the months after the features associated with that season.

The last full moon of winter is therefore called the Worm Moon because this is the time of year when earthworms start to appear after the icy ground thaws.