On 22 March 2016, people across the world will be able to see the full moon rise in the sky. Nothing unusual compared to other months, except that at this time of the year as winter gives way to spring, the phenomenon is also known under another name: Worm Moon.
Referring in such a way to the March full moon is a tradition dating back to Native Americans who gave names to the different full moons to symbolise what was going on in their natural environment and to mark the seasons. Generally speaking, moon cycles were followed closely by the different tribes to keep track of the passing of time.
As the last winter full moon, the 'Worm Moon' was closely associated with spring, rebirth and renewal. It got its name from the worm trails that would appear as nature began waking up and earthworms started showing themselves. With earthworms, the tribes also saw the return of robins, the brightly coloured birds that are synonymous with warmth and sunshine.
Some Native American Tribes also knew the March full Moon under other names. One of the most popular in the northern parts of America was "Crow Moon", as the birds' cawing announced the end of the cold winter months.
The farmers' almanac, a North American periodical published since 1818 lists all the names of the different full moons, as they were known by the Native Americans.
Watch the "worm moon" live online below, with commentaries from astronomers, or on Slooh's website.