Worm Moon set to light up UAE skies tonight

Moon's surface will be fully illuminated during stellar event, which traditionally marks start of spring

A plane is silhouetted against the Worm Moon in 2022. AFP
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A full moon that traditionally heralds the start of spring is set to light up UAE skies for three nights this week, starting this evening.

The Worm Moon is due to be appear in the Emirates and around the world, but visibility in parts of the UAE may be affected by cloudy weather, with rain forecast in some areas in the coming days.

An additional celestial treat is in store for those in South and North America, as there will be a penumbra lunar eclipse on Monday evening, when the Moon slips into the Earth's outer shadow and a slight shadow appears on the lunar surface.

What is a full moon?

A full moon is when the Earth lies between the Sun and the Moon, causing the lunar surface to be fully illuminated and visible as a bright disc.

This is different to a New Moon, which is when it is positioned between the Earth and the Sun, allowing its unlit side to face the planet and making it invisible in the night sky.

Worm Moon

The stellar event is called the Worm Moon because Native Americans used to name full moons to track the passing of seasons and significant natural events.

The Maine Farmers' Almanac began publishing these names in the 1930s and they are now widely used, Nasa said.

"The more southern tribes called this the Worm Moon after the earthworm casts that appeared as the ground thawed," it said.

"It makes sense that only the southern tribes called this the Worm Moon. When glaciers covered the northern part of North America they wiped out the native earthworms.

"After these glaciers melted about 12,000 years ago the more northern forests grew back without earthworms. Most of the earthworms in these areas are invasive species introduced from Europe and Asia."

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