This year, the sky was full of myriad celestial shows—from rare "kissing planets" to meteor showers. The northern lights were even visible in areas across the northern United States earlier this month. As January approaches, there's one more astronomical sight you won't want to miss. The Full Cold Moon, which is the last full moon of the year, will light up the sky next week. The best part? It'll have a high trajectory across the sky, which means it will sit above the horizon for a long period of time.
Why It's Called the Cold Moon
As you may know, many full moons get their names from Native American tribes, which used moons and nature as ways to track seasons. So, today, the full moon of December is most commonly known as the Full Cold Moon. According to the Farmer's Almanac, the Cold Moon is a Mohawk name that reflects the type of chilly weather typical in December. Another traditional name for this month's full moon is the Long Night Moon since it rises on (or around the time of) the longest nights of the year.
How to See the Cold Moon
You can start looking for the Full Cold Moon right before sunset, as it starts to rise above the horizon. It'll reach peak illumination on December 29 at 10:30 p.m. EST, according to the Farmer's Almanac. For the best views of the full moon, try to find a spot away from light pollution. Once you find the perfect area to skywatch, sit back and enjoy the last full moon of 2020!
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