full moon christmas

There’s going to be a full moon on Christmas for the first time in 38 years!

Astronomy fans are getting a present this year for Christmas. Santa is bringing them a full moon. For the first time in more than 30 years, we will get a full moon on Christmas day. Known as a full cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter, this Moon signals the beginning of winter’s dominance in the northern hemisphere.

Full Cold Moon

This moon warns us about the extremely short days and bitterly cold nights that come with a North American winter. It’s an especially good time for astronomers who want to get a glimpse at the Moon since it spends more time above the horizon than in other times of the year. Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) which has been in orbit since 2009, will be taking this time to take photographs of the Moon while it remains particularly bright and illuminated.

When to get a look

The last full Moon of the year, December’s full Moon will be at its brightest at 6:11 am EST. So first thing Christmas morning gift yourself an amazing sight and take a glimpse of the full moon while Santa finishes his rounds.

Moon names

The naming of the various Moons goes back to the Native Americans who kept track of the seasons by tracking their Moon and naming them accordingly. The next full Moon that takes place in January is known as a Full Wolf Moon and symbolizes the harshest time of the year. Named for the packs of wolves that used to gather outside of Native American villages during this time of year, this Moon is also called the Old Moon. The next full Moon that takes place in February is known as the Full Snow Moon and represents the time of year when everything is weighed down by the snow.

Remember, there hasn’t been a full Moon on Christmas Day since 1977, and there won’t be another until 2034, so make sure you take a glimpse of it while it’s here and enjoy your Christmas.

NASA. Rare Full Moon on Christmas Day https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/rare-full-moon-on-christmas-day Accessed: November 29, 2016.

IFL science. There will be a full moon on Christmas Day for the first time in 38 years http://www.iflscience.com/space/first-full-moon-christmas-38-years-occurs-year/ Accessed: November 29, 2016.

Farmers Almanac. Full Moon Names and Their Meanings http://farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names/ Accessed: November 29, 2016.

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