Super Worm Moon set to light up the skies above the UK tonight

Tonight’s sky will be lit up with the second supermoon of the year and visible to everyone in the UK providing the clouds stay out of the way.

It’s officially known as the ‘Worm Moon’ and will be visible from around 5.35pm this afternoon. Look to the east after sunset as the moon rises and makes its way across the night sky.

Royal Observatory astronomer Emily Drabek-Maunder told the PA news agency: ‘The March full moon is known as the worm moon, named after earthworms that emerge towards the beginning of spring as the ground thaws.’

‘Traditionally, monthly full moons are named from Native American tradition, but many also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic origins.’

‘From those different origins, the March full moon has also been called the chaste moon, death moon, crust moon and even the sap moon after sap flowing from sugar maple trees.’

The fact it’s a supermoon means tonight’s spectacle will appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter in the sky as the moon reaches its closest point to Earth.

Ms Drabek-Maunder told PA: ‘It will be slightly bigger in the sky, though this will not be easily noticeable by eye.’

The moon will set in the west at sunrise on Tuesday morning around 7.13am, Ms Drabek-Maunder said.

The first supermoon event of 2020 occurred last month and the next one will take place on April 8.

Astrologer Richard Nolle first defined the term supermoon in 1979 as he explained that the phenomenon ‘is a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.’

In order for a moon to be propelled to supermoon stardom it would have to be 226,000 miles away from the Earth.

A supermoon occurs every 14 full moon which is just over a year.

When the moon is closer to the earth, there are higher tide levels due to the moon’s gravitational pull on our water.

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