Keeper of the Plans

The final ‘supermoon’ of the year will arrive Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know

2016: Supermoon timelapse from Kansas landmark

A timelapse of Monday's supermoon rising from the top of Coronado Heights. (Video by Roy Wenzl/The Wichita Eagle/Nov. 14, 2016)
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A timelapse of Monday's supermoon rising from the top of Coronado Heights. (Video by Roy Wenzl/The Wichita Eagle/Nov. 14, 2016)

If you start to imagine the moon is bigger and brighter than it normally is on Wednesday, you’re not crazy.

Wednesday evening will bring the last supermoon of 2019 over Wichita skies — an event known as the “full worm moon” in some circles.

Coincidentally, it’s also the spring (vernal) equinox — one of only two days during the year when most people on earth will see near-exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. It marks the official beginning of spring, in scientific circles.

The equinox will arrive just before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

During a supermoon, the moon can appear bigger and brighter than normal, because the moon is in its closest proximity to earth.

The “full worm moon” is expected to peak around 8:43 p.m. Wednesday.

If you’re thinking this supermoon business sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve experienced two supermoons already in 2019.

So why is this one called the “worm moon”?

According to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, it’s called that because this is around the time of year when the soil starts to thaw and earthworms appear.

Each full moon of the year has a name like this — for example, February was the “snow moon,” June is the “strawberry moon” and September is the “harvest moon.”

Wednesday’s supermoon event will be the first time it has coincided so closely with the spring equinox since since March 2000, according to EarthSky.org. It won’t happen this closely again until March 2030.

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Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.

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