2019's third and final supermoon falls on spring equinox

Pat Wise
March 21, 2019

The equinox will arrive at 5:58 p.m. ET on Wednesday, less than four hours before the full supermoon.

According to NASA, a supermoon occurs when the moon's orbit is closest to Earth at the same time it is full. At other times in the year, it appears off-centre, if you're facing those directions.

It may be the last equinox supermoon for 2019, but the best one.

Along with sunny, summer-like weather, the first day of spring appears to have an extra special treat in store for Metro Vancouverites: the final super moon of 2019. Despite its slightly unsettlingly names the "worm moon" actually signifies the official start of spring which after a long terrible winter, pretty much makes it my favorite moon of all time.

So it's an "equal night", which is where the word equinox originated: the two Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It truly feels as if spring has arrived and from this date onwards, until the autumn equinox, there will be more daylight hours in the northern hemisphere than night hours.

Spring equinox doesn't always land on March 20, but it will always hold the same meaning: a brand new season.

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However the equinox is an important staging post on the annual orbit of the earth around the sun, particularly if you live at 54.5°N like we do in Northern Ireland.

This year the full moon in March was slated to happen on the same day as the equinox. Spring Equinox occurs twice every year, around March 20 and September 23.

"The last time that this occurred so close to the point of the equinox was in the year 1905, in March over 100 years ago", he said, although he noted the term "supermoon" is a recent term.

The Spring or Vernal Equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator from the south to the north.

It's also one of only two days each year that nearly every spot on Earth - except the poles - experiences a sunrise at due east and a sunset at due west.

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