The next full moon promises to dazzle Metro Vancouver skies with a luminous lunar spectacle that will appear somewhat larger than it typically does.
Known as the full "worm moon," many people believe the March moon is named to mark the time when earthworms start to surface from the soil at the start of spring.
But new research finds that the name actually refers to the time when Captain Jonathan Carver visited the Naudowessie (Dakota) and other Native American tribes and saw a different type of “worm”—beetle larvae—emerging "from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time," according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.
The March full moon is also known as the "Eagle Moon, Goose Moon (Algonquin, Cree), or Crow Comes Back Moon (Northern Ojibwe), as well as the "Sugar Moon (Ojibwe)," "Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo)," and " Sore Eyes Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine).
Moon-gazing opportunities based on the Metro Vancouver weather forecast
The March moon is also the Lenten Full Moon, which is a term given to the last moon that falls before the spring equinox (March 21). Sometimes it is the Paschal Full Moon -- the first full moon to take place after the spring equinox -- which means it determines when Easter will be celebrated.
This year, Easter will take place a week after the April full moon on Sunday, April 9 based on the Gregorian calendar, while the Eastern Orthodox Easter will be celebrated on Sunday, April 16, according to the Almanac.
The moon will appear at its fullest in Metro Vancouver overnight on Monday, March 6, reaching its fullest point at 4:14 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7 morning, according to timeanddate.com.
The Almanac notes that the full moon will also look particularly big when it's near the horizon because of the "Moon illusion": the celestial body actually appears larger near comparative objects than it does when it is higher up in the sky. It may also appear more orange or red when it hangs lower in the sky.
While you don't need any special equipment to view the full worm moon, a clear viewing is always weather dependent.