Final supermoon 2019, another supermoon called the “full snow moon.”.
We’re only a few months into 2019, but the third and final supermoon of the year takes place this month.
Skywatchers were treated to a total lunar eclipse and supermoon in January, followed in February by another supermoon called the “full snow moon.”
Now the third supermoon of 2019 makes its appearance on Wednesday. Nearly full moons on the evenings surrounding the supermoon — Tuesday and Thursday nights — should make for equally great viewing, according to local astronomers.
What makes the moon ‘super’?
American astronomer Richard Nolle originally coined the term in 1979 to refer to new or full moons that occur when the moon is at a close approach to Earth.
Much to Nolle’s chagrin, the term has since become more narrowly defined to refer to only full moons on their closest approach to Earth.
The moons are called “super” because they appear about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a typical full moon.
The March supermoon is known as the “worm moon,” because in cold climates the ground begins to thaw and earthworms appear. It’s also known variously as the “Full Crow Moon,” according to the Farmers’ Almanac, because the cawing of crows means the end of winter, or the “Full Crust Moon” because the snow becomes crusted this time of year from the thawing and freezing cycle.
When is the best time to view?
Look to the east as the moon rises.
The best time for viewing supermoons happens after moonrise, which varies each day. Moonrise happens in Arizona at 5:21 p.m. on Tuesday, at 6:32 p.m. on Wednesday and at 7:41 p.m. on Thursday.
As the moon rises above the horizon, this is when the supermoon can appear most dramatic. This is especially true if you can view it against the backdrop of a mountain or a building.
Special viewing equipment isn’t needed, said Aaron Boyd, a moon expert and research analyst at Arizona State University who works on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.
If you want to photograph the supermoon, Boyd recommends a camera with a telephoto lens to capture details. Cellphone cameras will just show the moon as a bright disc.
The moon is bright, so there is no need for the camera’s “night” mode setting. He recommends taking a couple of test shots to gauge the brightness.
When is the next supermoon?
Only a handful of supermoons are visible every year.
If you miss this one, the next supermoon won’t happen until March 9, 2020.