Who out there doesn’t like the Yule season? ‘Tis the season to be jolly, the season of giving and receiving, it’s all about gathering around the table, fire burning brightly in the fireplace. What could be more enticing than this? How about a full moon on winter’s eve, a unique celestial phenomenon for this season.
According to NASA, more specifically to Fred Espenak, an astronomer working for the space agency, this year we will be delighted by a rare astronomical event. And so, as the parents tuck their children into bed, awaiting the arrival of Santa Clause, a full moon will light up the night’s sky like a big Christmas decoration. This is truly a rare opportunity to witness a celestial phenomenon which occurs every couple of decades.
The last full moon was witnessed century ago and ever since, every phase on winter’s eve pales in comparison. Moreover, it will be the first full moon we will witness ever since the dawn of the new century. According to the predictions, astronomy enthusiasts and those with an inclination for romantic moods, will be able to see the full moon, in all its radiant beauty, starting at 6:11 A.M. EST.
Like any other moon phases, the December full moon bears its own names. According to the moon’s almanack, the December full moon bears the name of The Cold Moon. During this time of the year, temperatures drop significantly. Thus, the air is much denser and the atmosphere is filled with some kind of white haze. According to the same source, the same Cold Moon bears another name, mainly associated with the fact that, during the winter season, nights are longer than days.
In light of these, the December full moon is also called the Long Night Moon. The name also has some scientific facts to it. In this time of year, the moon tends to spend quite a lot of time far above the line of the horizon, relative to the low Sun.
And a little fun fact about the name of the moon. It would seem that the December moon was called The Moon before Yule by the early Christian colonists. The settlers regarded this time of year as a time of respite and rejuvenation. Also, the moon before Yule entreats fellow believers into taking the way of meditation and reflection.
Whatever name it bears, one thing is for sure: as we are making the fellow preparations to great father Christmas, Mother Nature will delight our senses with a show that will be hard to miss.