Google celebrates March 20 as 'Spring Equinox' with doodle

It's the first time since 1981 that the spring equinox and a full moon coincide on the same day.

This one is called a Super Worm Moon, so named because it's the time when earthworms start to emerge once again from once-frozen dirt, according to National Geographic.

March's full moon is also called the sap moon because the sap of sugar maples begins to flow around this time of the year.

The rare sight will be visible in Australian skies from around 7pm Thursday night (AEST, so 8pm for those in AEDT states), but its largeness and brightness will peak closer to midnight. On any other day of the year, either the Southern Hemisphere or the Northern Hemisphere tilts a little towards the sun.

The Spring equinox - sometimes referred to as the vernal equinox - occurs around March 20 each year, while the Autumn equinox is around September 22.

The equinox occurs twice a year, when the sun is exactly above the equator. The first was on January 21, and the second - the biggest and brightest supermoon of 2019 - was on february 19.


If you miss Wednesday night's supermoon, you'll have to wait until next year to catch another one.

On March 20, the direct rays of the sun are shining down on the equator producing the effect of equal day and night. While in the North, it marks the beginning of spring, with daylight hours continuing to lengthen until the summer solstice in June.

Wednesday's supermoon will appear just a few hours after the Vernal Equinox, which signals the changing of the seasons around the world: The transition of winter to spring in the Northern Hemisphere and summer to fall in the Summer Hemisphere.

Nat Geo said that at 3.45pm Eastern Time, on Tuesday, in the United States (3.45am, Wednesday, Singapore time), the moon will be 359,380km away from Earth, making for an especially close perigee.

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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