There is a full worm moon rising tonight: Here's when you can see it brightest

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Get ready: The final full moon of the winter season will rise Thursday and Friday night.

Specifically, March’s full moon reaches peak illumination at 3:20 a.m. EDT on Friday , the Old Farmer's Almanac said.

But you don't have to wait until the middle of the night: The moon will still look nearly full when it appears above the eastern horizon late Thursday afternoon, even though the precise moment the moon is full is a few hours later.

It will also look plenty big Wednesday and Friday nights. It looks especially vast to us when it's near the horizon because of the "moon illusion," when it looks larger there than it does when it's high in the sky.

Sept. 21, 2021:  The full moon sets behind the hills of the Taunus region near Wehrheim, Germany.
Sept. 21, 2021: The full moon sets behind the hills of the Taunus region near Wehrheim, Germany.

Why is it called a worm moon?

This month's full moon is known as the worm moon: For millenniums, people across the world, including Native Americans in the eastern and central U.S., named the months after nature’s cues. Each full moon has its own name, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

"The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon," the almanac said. "Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred."

This full moon is called a worm moon because in cold climates, the ground begins to thaw and earthworms appear.

Another explanation: The worm moon name refers to a different sort of “worm” – beetle larvae – which begin to emerge from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time of the year, the almanac said.

Other nicknames include the sugar moon – named after the sap of sugar maple trees – and the wind strong moon, named for the windy weather that often occurs this time of year, according to AccuWeather.

And in Christianity, if the moon appears before the spring equinox, as it does this year, it’s known as the Lenten moon, marking the last full moon of winter. If it appears after the equinox, it’s known as the paschal moon to mark the first full moon of spring.

This year, the spring equinox occurs at 11:33 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Full worm moon 2022: What you should know March full moon this week