Look up: The full ‘worm moon’ is back, but what does this mean? Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The full Worm Moon reached its peak this morning around 5 am. But what does that mean for you? What exactly is a ‘full worm moon’?

Here are the real meaning and origins of March’s full moon — and when you can see this Moon at its brightest!

When to see the full moon in March 2024

The first full moon of the spring season will appear on the nights of Sunday, March 24, and Monday, March 25.

Specifically, March’s full worm moon reaches peak illumination at 3:00 am on Monday, March 25, 2024.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until the middle of the night to see the moon! Look for the spectacularly bright moon as it rises above the horizon on Sunday evening.

If your weather is poor on Sunday night, try again on Monday! See when the Moon will be visible in your area.

If you have just a bit of rain on either of these nights, you may even get to spot a rare phenomenon called a moonbow.

A moonbow is just like a solar rainbow but is created by moonlight (rather than sunlight) when it is refracted through water droplets in the air.

Moonbows only happen when the full Moon is fairly low in the sky, so look for one in the hours after sunset when the sky is dark.

This March Moon will look especially large to us when it’s near the horizon because of the Moon illusion, which is when it looks larger nearer to comparative objects than it does when it’s high in the sky without any references.

Why is it called the worm moon?

The full moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from several places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources.

Traditionally, each full moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not only to the full Moon.

The surprising truth behind the Worm Moon name

March’s full moon goes by the name Worm Moon. For many years, we thought this name referred to the earthworms that appear as the soil warms in spring.

This invites robins and other birds to feed—a true sign of spring!

However, more research revealed another explanation. In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver visited the Naudowessie (Dakota) and other Native American tribes and noted that the name Worm Moon refers to a different sort of “worm”—beetle larvae—which begin to emerge from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time.

Alternative march moon names

There are quite a few names for the March Moon that speak to the transition from winter to spring.

Some refer to the appearance (or reappearance) of certain animals, such as the Eagle Moon, Goose Moon (Algonquin, Cree), or Crow Comes Back Moon (Northern Ojibwe), while others refer to signs of the season:

The Sugar Moon (Ojibwe) marks the time of year when the sap of sugar maples starts to flow.

The Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo) refers to the strong, windy days at this time of year. 

The Sore Eyes Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine) highlights the blinding rays of sunlight reflecting off the late winter’s melting snow.