(CNN) The last full moon of winter will light up the sky this week, coinciding with another special occasion for sky watchers.
Named the Worm Moon by Native American tribes in 18Th century referring to various creatures emerging from their winter hiding places to welcome spring, the Martian moon will reach maximum illumination at 7:42 a.m. ET Tuesday, March 7, according to Old farmer’s almanac. But someone who looks up at the right moment can also catch an amazing planetary phenomenon.
“What’s a bit more interesting now, and also visible tonight and this week, they’re close and prominent placement of Venus and Jupiter in the western sky just after sunset,” Mike Hankey, director of operations for the American Meteor Society, said via email. “The astronomical word for this is ‘conjunction.’ These planets will set when the moon rises, so they are only visible for about an hour at sunset, near the western horizon.”
People who get some rain Monday or Tuesday night may also see a moonbow, which is like a solar rainbow but is produced by moonlight refracting through water droplets in the air, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Moonbows only happen when a full moon is low in the sky, so look for them after sunset when the sky is dark.
The masked moon is not your last chance to catch a special space or celestial event. Here’s to full moons, solar eclipses and meteor showers watch out for this year.
Full moons and super moons
Most years have 12 full moons, but 2023 will have 13, with two – which are supermoons – happening in August. Supermoons are brighter and closer to Earth than normal and therefore appear larger in the sky.
Here is the list of full moons remaining in 2023, according to Old farmer’s almanac:
- April 6: Pink Moon
- May 5: Flower Moon
- June 3: Strawberry Moon
- July 3: Buck moon
- August 1: Sturgeon Moon
- August 30: Blue Moon
- September 29: Harvest Moon
- October 28: Hunter’s Moon
- November 27: Beaver Moon
- December 26: Cold Moon
Lunar and solar eclipses
It will be two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses year 2023.
A total solar eclipse – when the moon moves between the sun and Earth and blocks the sun – will be visible to people in Australia, Southeast Asia and Antarctica on April 20.
An annular solar eclipse will occur on October 14 and be visible across North, Central and South America. It’s when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth when the Moon is at or near its farthest point from Earth – making the Moon appear smaller than the Sun and creating a glowing ring around the Moon.
When viewing solar eclipses, use proper solar eclipse glasses to avoid eye-damaging sunlight.
A penumbral lunar eclipse — when the moon moves through the penumbra, the faint, outer part of Earth’s shadow — will occur on May 5 for those in Africa, Asia and Australia.
On October 28, a partial lunar eclipse will be visible to people in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, parts of North America and much of South America. This is when the sun, earth and moon are not completely aligned, so only part of the moon goes into shadow.
There are 11 more meteor showers to catch this year, and they are most visible from late evening to dawn in areas unaffected by light pollution.
Here is their peak date:
- Lyrids: April 22-23
- Eta Aquariids: May 5-6
- Southern Delta Aquariids: July 30-31
- Alpha Capricorn: July 30-31
- Perseids: August 12-13
- Orionids: October 20-21
- Southern Taurids: November 4-5
- Northern Taurids: November 11-12
- Leonids: November 17-18
- Gemini: December 13-14
- Ursider: December 21-22
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