A stunning supermoon is set to grace the sky Thursday night. Here’s the best time and place to catch a glimpse.
A stunning supermoon is set to grace the sky Thursday night. Here’s the best time and place to catch a glimpse.

How to watch this week's supermoon

CANCEL your mediocre Thursday night plans, because a stunning supermoon is about to grace the night sky.

The illuminated spectacle - known as the Worm Moon - will be the last of 2019's three back-to-back supermoons.

A supermoon is a full moon that has reached the closest point to Earth in its monthly elliptical orbit, making it appear larger and brighter in the night sky.

This one is called the Worm Moon based on the end of winter in the northern hemisphere, at the time of year when the ground begins to thaw and earthworms surface. In other words, the name itself means … well … nothing to us.

Other nicknames for March's full moon include the Sap Moon, the Crow Moon and the Lenten Moon.

The rare sight will be visible in Australian skies from around 7pm Thursday night (AEST, so 8pm for those in AEDT states), but its largeness and brightness will peak closer to midnight.

This time around it will be about 359,000km from earth compared to the average distance of 383,000km.

This sight is particularly special because it happens to coincide with the March equinox and the beginning of Autumn for the southern hemisphere.

Equinoxes take place towards the end of March and September, when the sun crosses the celestial equator.

If you're after a good viewing spot, your best bet is to head away from the light pollution of the major cities. Even getting out to the outer suburbs will improve your view of the sight.

The best time to view the Worm Moon is when the sky is at its darkest. Astronomers expect that the moon will appear about 14 per cent brighter than normal, Newsweek reported.

At worst - if your plans are thwarted by crappy weather or shift work - you can sneak a peek at the Virtual Telescope Project's live stream of the event here.

The next supermoon won't be until 2020 - so be sure to watch it one way or another!


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