Providence Full Moon

6 March showed a beautiful spectacle as a nearly full moon set behind the Providence skyline in Rhode Island. The orange moon can be seen sinking behind the skyscrapers. The moon was set to be at its fullest on 7 March.

The month’s full moon goes by the name of the Worm Moon, in reference to the different creatures emerging to welcome spring. The moon is currently 15.2 days old. It is 398824 km from the Earth. The next new moon is on 21 Mar 2023.

Most people have never heard of a worm moon, but it is in fact the traditional name for the March full moon. This dates back to the medieval Europeans and Native American tribes who gave each month’s moon a different name, often reflecting the changes in nature. The slightly strange sounding worm moon gets its name from the humble earthworm which emerges from its winter slumber in March.

This is a portent of the end of winter and beginning of spring and, in fact, the worm moon is also considered the last full moon of the winter.

Throughout history the coming of spring has had a considerable significance reflecting a period of renewal and regrowth. The March full moon has several other names reflecting this such as the Lenten Moon, which refers to the Christian Lent period. More down to earth names include the crow moon, as the birds become more active after the winter, and the sap or sugar moon.

The worm moon lit up the night sky around the world when it reached its peak illumination early Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, with another storm pushing its way across the U.S. this week, many Americans were unable to observe the beautiful sight. The Farmers’ Almanac says the moon gets that nickname because the ground in the northern latitudes begins to soften during the month, allowing earthworms to appear.

Similar to other folklore behind the naming of each month’s full moon, the nickname might be a bit of a stretch because March is a still chilly month across large parts of North America, which would generally prevent sightings of worms. According to Penn State’s extension office, the optimum temperature for an earthworm is between 50 and 60 degrees, and many do not tolerate freezing weather. Worm or no worm, the worm moon did not disappoint those who took the time to look up into the night sky to see the majestic moon wiggle its way across.

After the full moon, the lunar body will wane into a third-quarter state by 14 March and reach a new moon status on 21 March.

The next full moon will not rise into the sky until Thursday, 6 April, and it will be known as the pink moon. Due to the moon taking around 354 days to complete a full 12 cycles, some years experience an additional full moon – and 2023 is one of those years. Thirteen full moons will grace the skies this year, with the extra sighting scheduled to happen in late August.

Of course, you do not 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 Monday evening. If your weather is poor on Monday night, try again on Tuesday.

See when the Moon will be visible in your area. This March Moon will look especially large to us when it is near the horizon because of the Moon illusion, it looks bigger when near comparative objects than it does when it is high in the sky without any references. The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of 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.

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. However, more research revealed another explanation. In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver visited the Naudowessie and other Native American tribes and wrote 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.