This December, skywatchers are in for a treat. On December 29, 2020, they’ll be able to witness the last full moon of the year, the Christmas Cold Moon. This is the perfect time to enjoy a peaceful evening admiring the beauty of the night sky, and is a must-see event for anyone who loves stargazing.
The Cold Moon gets its name from the fact that December is traditionally the month with the coldest weather of the year. It is also known as the Long Nights Moon, which signifies the lengthening of the trips to darkness as we get closer to the Winter Solstice. The December full moon will be visible all around the world, so no matter where you are, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of it.
To observe the Cold Moon, you’ll need to step outside during the right time and find a spot with minimal light pollution. While the peak moonrise is around midnight at those latitudes, the best time to view it is about an hour or two before. This is when it will appear more orange-red due to Earth’s atmosphere. If you happen to be in an area with clear skies, you should be able to make out some of the stars in the night sky as well.
Another way to view the Cold Moon is to take a look at the Moonrise timings posted by local observatories or astronomy groups. For some locations, this could be as early as 8 pm. By being prepared and arriving early, you will be able to make the most of the viewing experience.
The Christmas Cold Moon is an opportunity to witness something special this Christmas season, and appreciate the beauty of the night sky. With some timely planning and an eye for the stars, you can make it a memorable night for all the right reasons.