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How to watch the March 2018 full 'worm' moon

This year's worm moon is coming. What is it exactly, and how can you watch it?

Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

A full moon, though a pretty common sight, is always captivating. This month, you'll be able to catch a full moon nicknamed the "worm" moon. (Some people also call it the "sap" or "crow" moon.)

Here's everything you need to know about worm moons and what to look for tonight.

What is a worm moon anyway?

Frankly, a worm moon isn't any different than your average full moon -- it's just the first full moon in March. Full moons are given different nicknames based on the month in which they appear, loosely related to what happens around that time of the year.

March is the time of year where you typically begin to see more animals and, specifically, worms emerging. It's also around this time that people begin tapping maple trees to harvest sap, hence the alternate nickname, sap moon.

Other full moon nicknames you may be familiar with are the "harvest" moon for September and "cold" or "long night's" moon for December. You can probably guess where those nicknames come from.

Another full moon term you're more likely to have heard is blue moon, which doesn't always appear blue in the sky (though sometimes it does, and that's a different type of blue moon). A blue moon is simply the second full moon in a month, hence "once in a blue moon" meaning something rare. So the moon on the night of March 31 this year will be a blue worm moon. Cool, huh?

Another rare moon occurrence happened earlier this year at the end of January: a super blue blood moon.

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How to catch the first worm moon

Peak fullness for the worm moon will happen on Thursday at approximately 7:51 p.m. ET. Basically, once the moon has risen, regardless of where you are, you will be able to see the full worm moon.

If you miss it or there's simply too much cloud cover to enjoy it, you will be able to see it through Saturday morning, according to NASA.

If you miss this worm moon altogether, you will still have a second chance to catch one this month. The blue worm moon will be visible starting March 31 at roughly 9:42 p.m. ET.