The Worm full moon: why it is special and when to watch it

On 25 March 2024, the first full moon of this spring will occur. Sometimes it is called the “worm” full moon. This day will also have a lunar eclipse and a micro-moon. We have prepared an explanation of what it all means.

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Worm full moon

The phases of the Moon are repeated with an average periodicity of 29.53 days. When our satellite turns to face the Earth with its side fully illuminated by the Sun, we call this moment “a full moon”. The next time it will happen on 25 March 2024.

It will be the first full moon of this spring, and some sources call it the “worm” moon. This name came to us from the United States. To be more precise, its original source is the Old Farmer’s Almanac, a publication for American farmers.

The origin of the name is attributed to one of the indigenous peoples of North America, who allegedly noticed that it was at this time after winter that worms appeared. However, the sources do not agree on whether these are earthworms or insect larvae. In any case, no invertebrate invasion is expected in Ukraine on this day.

Де буде видно місячне затемнення
Where the lunar eclipse will be visible. Source:

By the way, different peoples of North America use other names for this full moon, usually associated with birds — geese, eagles and crows. This makes more sense than worms, given that birds are actually returning from wintering at this time.

In China, this full moon is called the “sleeping” full moon, and in the Southern Hemisphere, it is generally called the “harvest” full moon. The latter shouldn’t be too surprising, as all the seasons there are the opposite of those we are used to in the Northern Hemisphere.

What can you see during the March full moon?

The full moon itself will be observed on Monday, 25 March, at 9:00 Kyiv time. This is when the lunar disc will be at its maximum illumination. However, it should be remembered that it will be a micro-moon — our satellite will be at its apogee, the farthest point from the Earth in its orbit. The distance to it will be almost maximum, and it will appear slightly smaller than usual.

In addition, a lunar eclipse will be observed on this day. It will be penumbral, meaning that the lunar disc will not turn red, only slightly dim.

Сходження Місяця 25 березня
Moonrise on 25 March. Source:

The Earth’s penumbra will begin to cover the moon’s disc at 6:52 a.m. Kyiv time, at about 9:12 a.m. the eclipse will reach a maximum of 95%, and at 11:32 a.m. it will be over. In Ukraine, it will be impossible to see this phenomenon, as the disc of our satellite will disappear behind the horizon before 6 am.

Therefore, it will be possible to observe all of the above phases only from the far west of Europe, in North and South America, and in New Zealand. If you want to admire the “worm” full moon in Ukraine, it is best to do so on the night of 24-25 March.

In Kyiv, the Moon will appear in the sky at 17:29 and will have time to rise slightly above the horizon before the onset of complete darkness. It will be in the constellation Virgo. Watching it during the night, you will not see any eclipse, of course, but otherwise the picture will not be much different from the one that will be observed in the morning in those places where our natural satellite will disappear behind the horizon after entering the Earth’s penumbra.