THE first supermoon of 2021 has lit up the skies tonight – and photographers from across the world have captured stunning images of it.
This evening’s moon appears bigger and brighter than usual as it is closer to earth.
Known as the Worm Moon, the third full moon of the year is dubbed ‘the true sign of spring’.
That’s because earth worms emerge in the soil around this time of year.
The spectacle is also known as the Sugar Moon, the Sap Moon and the Crow Moon.
And the amazing sight comes just hours after daylight saving time began.
The clocks went forward by an hour today.
The Worm Moon rose at 7.48pm tonight.
But if you’re heading out with a camera, be warned – it’s already reached the point at which it will look the biggest.
That happened just before 8pm due to a phenomenon known as a ‘moon illusion’, which means it appears bigger when it’s closer to the horizon.
And many of us will struggle to see it clearly, as the Met Office says tonight will be largely cloudy and breezy across the UK.
Even worse, there’s rain in parts of Wales, north-west England, Northern Ireland and west Scotland.
Experts at NASA say: “According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the native tribes of what is now the northern and eastern US named this the Worm Moon after the earthworm casts that appear as the ground thaws.
“The more northern tribes knew this as the Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signalled the end of winter.
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A blue moon refers to the occasion when a full moon appears for the second time in the same month. This is very rare.
The harvest moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.
A supermoon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth, and therefore is at its brightest.
A blood moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse.
Each month of the year has its own special full moon phenomenon.
- January: Wolf Moon
- February: Snow Moon
- March: Worm Moon
- April: Pink Moon
- May: Flower Moon
- June: Strawberry Moon
- July: Buck Moon
- August: Sturgeon Moon
- September: Full Corn Moon
- October: Hunter’s Moon
- November: Beaver Moon
- December: Cold Moon
“Other northern names are the Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night, or the Sap Moon, as this is the time for tapping maple trees.
“Europeans called this the Lenten Moon.”
The moon doesn’t produce any visible light of its own – so when we can see it, it’s thanks to light from other objects, like the sun, hitting it first.
There are 12 full moons to spot in 2021, each with its own unique name.
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Of these, photographers will want to be out for April 27 and May 26, when the moon will appear much bigger than usual.
And if you’ve missed tonight’s because of poor visibility, don’t worry.
To the naked eye, the moon will appear full for another two to three nights.