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Will you spot the “Cold Moon” this month? December’s full moon gets its name from the time of year when temperatures drop and it begins to get really cold. After all, December 22 is the solstice — the longest night of the year — and the official onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Consequently, it’s been called the “Long Nights Moon” by some Native American tribes because of its proximity to the solstice, though the exact date shifts each year. This moon is also called the “Moon Before Yule” by some Europeans, a festive reference to the beginning of the Yuletide season.
Whatever you call it, the final full moon of 2019 promises to be a special sight.
When is the Cold Moon?
The night of a full moon is the only night of the month when the moon rises around sunset, shines brilliantly all night, and sets around sunrise the following morning. The moment when the Cold Moon is precisely full and 100% illuminated by the sun is 12:12 a.m. EST on December 12 for those on the east coast and 9:12 p.m. PST on December 11 for those on the west coast. However, that’s not the optimal time to observe the full Cold Moon.
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