March full moon 2024: The Worm Moon gets eclipsed

a bright moon rises above the ruins of a castle
Full moon sets behind Rocca Calascio castle and village (LAquila), Italy, on March 7, 2023. (Image credit: Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The full moon of March 2024 will feature a lunar eclipse visible from the Americas, Alaska, Antarctica and parts of northern Russia.

The full moon of March, called the Worm Moon, will occur in the eastern U.S. at 3 a.m. on March 25, (0700 UTC) according to the U.S. Naval Observatory, within a day of the planet Mercury reaching its highest elevation in the evening skies for Northern Hemisphere observers. The moon will also undergo a penumbral lunar eclipse, passing through the outer part of Earth's shadow. 

In New York City on March 24 the moon rises at 7:21 p.m. local time, and the eclipse starts at 12:53 a.m. March 25. During the eclipse, the moon will reach its full phase, and the maximal eclipse is at 3:12 a.m. The eclipse ends at 5:32 a.m., about an hour and a half before moonset at 7:02 a.m. ET.

Related: Full moon names for 2024 (and how they came to be)


A Celestron telescope on a white background

(Image credit: Celestron)

Looking for a telescope to see the features of the full moon up close? We recommend the Celestron Astro Fi 102 as the top pick in our best beginner's telescope guide. Don't forget a moon filter!

Full moons occur when the moon is on the opposite side of Earth from the sun. Because we designate the time of actual full moon as being when the moon is 180 degrees around the celestial sphere from where the sun is, the timing of the full moon depends on one's time zone.

This full moon will also pass through the outer part of Earth's shadow, known as the penumbra. At least part of the eclipse can be seen from as far west as the eastern half of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan and Eastern Russia. The eastern boundary of visibility is in the middle of Europe (Vienna marks the approximate boundary) and a line that connects the Gulf of Sidra in Libya to a point west of Cape Town, South Africa.

A map showing from where the penumbral lunar eclipse on March 25, 2024 will be visible. (Image credit: Dominic Ford/

The shadow of Earth is so large relative to the moon that lunar eclipses are visible from anywhere on the side of Earth that faces the moon as it nears full phase; the moon can pass entirely within the Earth's shadow. The moon's shadow is smaller and only hits a small part of the Earth's surface; this is why catching a solar eclipse requires one to be in a very narrow path. 

Unlike a partial or total lunar eclipse, the moon won't darken or turn red; during a penumbral eclipse the moon only looks a little darker than normal (some people see the color as brownish or a slightly off-color gray). If one were standing on the moon one would see a partial solar eclipse, with the Earth blocking part of the sun's light but not all. 

For observers at the western limit of the area of visibility, the eclipse starts just before moonrise. According to, in Melbourne, for example, the eclipse begins at 3:53 p.m. Australian Eastern Daylight Time on March 25, but the moon doesn't rise until 7:25 p.m. By then the penumbral eclipse is already in full swing, and the maximum eclipse for Australians is only a few minutes later at 7:29 p.m. The penumbral shadow will cover the top half of the moon, and the eclipse ends by 8:32 p.m. 

Further north, in Tokyo, the eclipse starts at 1:53 p.m. local time and the moon rises at 5:56 p.m., the maximum eclipse is at 6:04 p.m. and the penumbral shadow will only cover the top right (western) quadrant of the moon. 

As one moves eastwards more of the eclipse is visible. In Wellington, New Zealand, the eclipse starts at 5:53 p.m. New Zealand Daylight Time and moonrise is at 7:24 p.m.; the maximal eclipse, when all but a sliver of the bottom left portion of the moon will be in shadow, is at 8:12 p.m. The eclipse ends at 10:32 p.m. 

The first states of the United States to see the eclipse will be Alaska and Hawaii; in Alaska, from Anchorage, moonrise is at 8:06 p.m. local time on March 24, and the eclipse starts at 8:53 p.m. The maximum eclipse is at 11:12 p.m. and the eclipse ends at 1:32 a.m. on March 25. At maximum eclipse the moon will be 18.5 degrees high in the southeast. Hawaiians (in Honolulu) will see the moon rise at 6:36 p.m. local time, the eclipse starts at 6:53 p.m., reaches maximum at 9:12 p.m. and ends at 11:32 p.m. At maximum the moon will be 34 degrees above the horizon in the east-southeast. 

A penumbral lunar eclipse on Jan. 10, 2020 as seen from Oria, Italy. (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Giuseppe Donatiello)

The eclipse gets higher in the sky as one moves eastwards; in San Francisco the eclipse begins at 9:53 p.m. Pacific Time and the moon will be 29 degrees high towards the east-southeast. The eclipse reaches a maximum at 12:12 a.m. March 25, with the moon 47 degrees high (a bit more than halfway to the zenith). The eclipse ends at 2:32 a.m. 

In Chicago, Dallas or Mexico City the eclipse starts at 11:53 p.m. local time March 24, and reaches a maximum at 2:12 a.m. March 25., ending at 4:32 a.m. The times of moonrise will differ, though; in Chicago moonrise is at 6:44 p.m., in Dallas it is at 7:23 p.m., and in Mexico City it is at 6:33 p.m. While all three cities are in the same time zone, Mexico does not observe daylight savings time, while Chicago and Dallas are on different sides of the time zone and differing latitudes, so the local time of moonrise (as well as moonset, sunrise and sunset) can differ significantly.  

Further east the eclipse moves to March 25, as in New York City. For those an hour ahead, as in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the eclipse starts at 12:53 a.m. March 25, maximal eclipse is at 3:12 a.m., and the eclipse ends at 5:32 a.m. – it's the same as Eastern Time because Puerto Rico doesn't observe daylight savings. moonset there is at 7:30 a.m. March 25. In the Americas one of the last big cities to catch the eclipse is Fortaleza, Brazil, where it starts at 1:53 a.m., reaches maximum at 4:12 a.m. and ends at 6:32 a.m. – after moonset at 5:44 a.m. local time. At maximum eclipse the moon will be almost due west and about 21 degrees high. 

And finally, as one gets to Europe and western Africa, the eclipse starts late enough that it sets before maximum; in London, it begins at 4:53 a.m. and the maximal eclipse there is at 5:57 a.m., but the moon sets only four minutes later and the actual maximum eclipse happens when the moon is below the horizon. The situation is similar in Marrakech, where the eclipse also starts at 4:53 a.m. local time, but the moon sets just before it reaches maximum at 6:33 a.m. (actual maximal eclipse is at 6:35 a.m.) 

Full moons are easy targets for binoculars or small telescopes, but they can be almost disappointing because the moon is so bright the surface loses contrast. One issue is the lack of shadows; we are seeing the lunar surface at noontime on the moon, so the sun (from the perspective of a person standing on the moon) is directly overhead. 

That said, moon filters are available that can make some lunar features stand out. If one waits a few days after the full moon or observes a few days before, shadows bring out more detail. For those taking photos with their phones, one should be aware that the way the phone measures (and adjusts for) the light from the moon can be unpredictable, and depend a lot on the camera app one is using and the design of the camera itself. On an iPhone, for example, a full moon can be so bright relative to the background (a dark sky) that it appears a white blob in the image. Against a bluish, twilight sky, however, the image can show detail. There are apps that allow one to control the ISO (the "film speed" of the camera) and the exposure time, and one has to adjust those and be ready for some trial and error. (DSLRs allow for fine-tuning both of those parameters, so are easier to work with). 

If you're interested in taking photographs of the Full Worm Moon, check out our helpful how to photograph the moon guide for the best lunar photography tips and tricks. We also have guides to the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography if you need to gear up for this or other celestial events.

Read more: Smartphone astrophotography: How to take pictures of the night sky

Visible Planets

The night of March 24-25 offers some planet-viewing opportunities, as early in the evening Mercury and Jupiter will all be above the horizon. Mercury in particular will be at its greatest elongation (distance from the sun) east, meaning it is as high as it will get for Northern Hemisphere sky watchers this spring. On March 24, as the sun sets (at 7:12 p.m. local time in New York) Mercury will be about 17 degrees above the western horizon. the end of civil twilight, when the sun gets 6 degrees below the horizon, is at 7:40 p.m., and Mercury should be just becoming visible; it will still be about 12 degrees high. Meanwhile Jupiter will be above and slightly to the left, at an altitude of about 32 degrees. Mercury sets by 8:50 p.m., and Jupiter by 10:38 p.m. From New York City (and other mid-northern latitude locations) Venus, Mars and Saturn are all lost in the solar glare at dawn. 

On the evening of Sunday, March 24, Mercury (orbit shown as red curve) will reach its widest separation of 18.7 degrees east of the sun for its current apparition.  (Image credit: Chris Vaughan/Starry Night)

Moving south, seeing Mars and Saturn becomes more feasible; but one has to get nearer the equator to do it. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, for example, in the predawn hours of March 25 Mars rises at 4:42 a.m. local time and gets to about 17 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon by 6:00 a.m.; civil twilight starts at 6:02 a.m. and sunrise is at 6:24 a.m. Saturn rises at 5:19 a.m. and only gets to about 14 degrees high by sunrise; it will be to the left and below Mars, but hard to see without a flat horizon and clear skies. 

Venus rises at 5:31 a.m. but by 6:00 a.m. is only 6 degrees high; count yourself lucky if you can spot it (though its brightness makes that somewhat easier). 

In Quito, the three planets form more of a vertical line in the east, with Mars at the top. Sunrise on March 25 is at 6:16 a.m. local time, and Mars rises at 4:15 a.m. Saturn follows at 4:57 a.m. and Venus is the last to rise at 5:11 a.m. By 5:56 a.m., when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon (the beginning of civil twilight) Mars' altitude is 24 degrees, high enough to see easily, especially if one has followed it from earlier in the night. Saturn will be 10 degrees below it and Venus is four degrees below that; a challenge to see but not as difficult as from locations further north. 

In the Southern Hemisphere the line the three planets makes starts to "tilt" to the left (northwards). From Santiago, Chile, Mars rises at 5:12 a.m. local time, Saturn at 6:04 a.m. and Venus at 6:22 a.m. Sunrise is at 7:50 a.m., and by that time Mars is a full 32 degrees above the eastern horizon, so even Venus will be easy to spot by the time of civil twilight at 7:25 a.m.  


By late March the bright winter constellations are high in the sky or towards the west in the evening. Orion, Taurus, Gemini, and Canis Major are all high in the southern sky by about 8 p.m. in mid-northern latitudes, with Orion just on the western (right) side; it is visible even from city locations, with the distinctive Orion's Belt of three stars in a line an easy marker to look for. Surrounding Orion's Belt are the four stars that mark his shoulders and his feet; to the left and above the belt is Betelgeuse, recognizable by its red orange color, and below and to the right is Rigel, a bluish white star that is his foot.  

Taurus the Bull is to the right and above Orion; one can find it using Aldebaran, a bright orange-hued star that is almost directly to the right of Betelgeuse about the same distance as Rigel is below it. Gemini, the Twins, is above Orion, the two bright stars Castor and Pollux marking the twins' heads. On the left side of Orion is Canis Major, the Big Dog, home to Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. All four constellations are bright enough that they don't get overwhelmed by the full moon, even in urban areas. 

Looking east one will see Leo the Lion above the moon, with its two brightest stars Denebola and Regulus. Denebola will be to the left of the moon and above it, while Regulus is above that and to the right at some distance. You know you've spotted Regulus when you see the "sickle" – a backwards question-mark shaped grouping just above and to the left of Regulus. 

If one looks north and finds the Big Dipper, which will be on the eastern side of the sky and facing upwards (so that the bowl appears to be on top with the handle pointing towards the horizon) one can use the "pointers" in the bowl of the dipper to Polaris, the Pole Star, and keep turning left to the western side of Polaris, to the distinctive "W" shape of Cassiopeia, the legendary queen and wife of Cepheus. If one follows the pointers in the other direction, one reaches Leo the Lion. 

For those in the Southern Hemisphere, one would see Orion looking northwest, and "upside down" with Rigel above Betelgeuse. By about 9 p.m., Gemini is on the right side of Orion with Castor and Pollux halfway to the northern horizon. Turning to the south and looking almost straight up, one can see Canopus, or Alpha Carinae, the brightest star in Carina, the Ship's Keel. It is one of the brightest stars in the southern skies, so it is easy to distinguish. 

Still facing south, if one looks slightly to the southeast and halfway to the horizon, one can see the Crux, the Southern Cross, and as one continues downward one encounters Hadar and then Rigil Kentaurus, also known as Alpha Centauri. Using Canopus again as a marker, turning one's head towards the horizon but westwards, (this will be to the right), about two thirds of the way down one encounters Achernar, which marks the end of Eridanus the River. If one follows the "river" of stars, it ends near Rigel, the foot of Orion. 

Moon Legends

The March full moon is called the Worm Moon in the Old Farmer's Almanac, supposedly because of the emergence of earthworms. North American Native peoples had other names for it, often differing widely. According to the Ontario Native Literacy Project, the Ojibwe (or Anishinaabe) peoples called it the Sugar Moon, as it was when maple tree sap was harvested; this lunation also happens to mark the Anishinaabe new year. Meanwhile, the Tlingit, whose traditional territory stretches along the coast of what is now western Canada and Alaska, called the March lunation Héentáanáx Kayaan’i Dís or  "Underwater plants sprout," according to the Tlingit Moon and Tide Teaching Resource published by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. 

Jewish people will celebrate Purim, the 14th day of the lunar month of Adar, on March 24, which commemorates Esther saving the Jewish people of the Persian Empire from being exterminated by the king's vizier. For Muslims March 11-April 9 is the month of Ramadan, and the full moon of March marks the halfway point.  

In China, the traditional lunar calendar calls the March lunation the second month, Xingyuè, the Apricot Month, for when those trees blossom. 

People in the Southern Hemisphere had different associations with the March lunations; March there is the end of summer. In South Africa, the Zulu name for the month is uNdasa and refers to people being well-fed. 

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Jesse Emspak Contributor

Jesse Emspak is a freelance journalist who has contributed to several publications, including, Scientific American, New Scientist, and Undark. He focuses on physics and cool technologies but has been known to write about the odder stories of human health and science as it relates to culture. Jesse has a Master of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester. Jesse spent years covering finance and cut his teeth at local newspapers, working local politics and police beats. Jesse likes to stay active and holds a fourth degree black belt in Karate, which just means he now knows how much he has to learn and the importance of good teaching.

  • rod
    Admin said:
    The full moon of March, called the Worm Moon, occurs March 9 at 1:48 p.m. EDT (1748 GMT). It will be the first "supermoon" of 2020.

    March Full Moon 2020: Catch the 'Worm Moon' and the first supermoon of the year on Monday : Read more

    "Venus meets up with Uranus"

    Yes indeed, Venus and Uranus meet up and last night I observed both of them using binoculars in the field of view and my telescope (separately), shortly after 1900 until after 2000 EDT (7:00 PM - 8:00 PM for civilians). That waxing gibbous Moon was 'a bad Moon a-rising' behind me in the east sky while I viewed facing west. I viewed from a horse pasture where there are no lights around and another larger field to my east. That Moon lit up the fields and woods all around me bathing me in moonlight near 2000 EDT. I viewed both planets at 129x and 200x. I could resolve Uranus as a small, bluish-green disk and Venus, much larger and brighter, just about half-moon phase shape with hint of cloud bands. Star charts created using Starry Night as well as Stellarium before observing, planning my session. The Telrad on my telescope made it easy to pin point Uranus, placing the planet right in the eyepiece field of view. I located Uranus at 129x near 1951 EDT and by 2000 EDT, I could see Venus and Uranus using the 10x50 binoculars. Sunset at my location near 1908 EDT last night.