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Spring starts Wednesday, marked by the Full Worm Moon and 12-plus hours of daylight

Winter ends Wednesday at 5:58 p.m., the moment of vernal equinox.

And for the first time since 2000, the Full Worm Moon marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The full moon arrives at 9:42 p.m. Wednesday, less than four hours after the vernal equinox.

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It is the third and final “supermoon” of 2019. (The term supermoon simply refers to a full moon that occurs when the moon is relatively close to Earth in its elliptical orbit.)

It is rare that the full moon coincides so closely with the equinox, according to EarthSky.org. It won’t happen again until spring arrives in March 2030.

At the equinox, Earth’s 23.5-degree axis is oriented such that the northern and southern hemispheres are receiving equal sunlight. While it marks the start of spring on this side of the world, it is the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere, where daylight will now start to wane.

The Northern Hemisphere has been gaining daylight rapidly in recent weeks, and in Baltimore, Monday was the first day of the year the sun spent more time above the horizon than below it. The sun was up for about 12 hours, 3 minutes, making it the region’s “longest day” since last Sept. 24.

This time of year, the sun stays up about 2½ minutes longer each day here, helping to gradually warm temperatures throughout spring.

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