The year is still new but it's already been host to a variety of exciting astronomical events. From super moons, to lunar eclipses, to blood moons, to blue moons, there's been a lot of really great excuses to go outside at night and just look up. And now, you'll want to know the best time to see the March 2018 full worm moon, because it's the first full moon of the month, and it's coming up very soon on Mar. 1.
To make up for the lack of full moons in February, March is treating us with two full moons — the first of which is the worm moon. This special full moon will rise on Mar. 1 at 7:51 p.m. EST. The second full moon of March, which is classified as a blue moon, due to the fact that it's the second full moon in one calendar month, will rise on Mar. 31 at 3:37 a.m. But let's focus on the worm moon, because it's almost here and there's so much to know about it.
While the name "worm moon" might suggest something creepy crawly, the naming is actually based a lot more on logic than your creative mind is willing to settle on. The Algonquin tribes declared March's first full moon the worm moon quite literally because it's the time of the year that the earthworms start to resurface. During the last lunar cycle of the winter season, the ground starts to heat up after many months of remaining nearly frozen solid. As the temperature rises, roots begin to grow and spread, the soil breaks up and earthworms come out of their casings and start becoming active in the top soil. So the worm moon is basically just a reminder that growing season is coming up soon as the soil is coming back to life and mother nature's little gardeners are showing up for the job.
As for how best to see the worm moon, you'll be relieved to know that you don't need any special contraptions, a good set of eyes will do just fine. If you're watching the moon from New York City or nearby on the East Coast, the moon will rise at 5:33 p.m. ET on Mar. 1. It will set the following morning, Mar. 2, at 7 a.m., technically meaning that if you miss it on Thursday night, you might be able to wake up extra early on Friday morning and see the worm moon before it begins to wane. Though, do keep in mind that pesky weather can alway get in the way of our celestial entertainment. And on the East Coast, clouds and rain is expected Thursday night going into Friday morning, so there is a change that the moon will be obscured.
That said, if you want to do a full moon ritual, you still totally can. Setting your intentions with the full moon doesn't require the moon to be fully visible. It's more about aligning your thoughts and hopes with the lunar cycle. So just knowing that the worm moon is fully present behind the clouds should be good enough. And even if the light is muffled by some weather clouds, it should still be a pretty bright night. So put aside some time to hang out in your backyard, or by the window if it's raining and think about the things you want to accomplish both mentally and physically in the next month. Reflect on the month behind and get excited because the next full moon is going to be the first full moon of the spring season, and that's definitely something to celebrate.