December’s Full “Cold Moon” Peaks at 12:12 a.m. on 12/12

December 5, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Bundle up for the longest full moon of the year accompanied by a spectacular meteor shower, Old Farmer’s Almanac warns

Traditionally called the “Cold Moon” or “Long Nights Moon” by Native Americans, December’s full moon is named appropriately, as it foreshadows the coldest and longest nights of the year.

Ancient European pagans called it the “Moon Before Yule,” in honor of the Yuletide festival celebrating the return of the sun heralded by the year’s longest night on December 21, Winter Solstice.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the timing of this year’s Cold Moon is a  good omen.

According to NASA, it will reach its peak fullness at 12:12 a.m. on the 12th day of the 12th month.

If you don’t want to stay up until midnight, the Almanac says to venture out the night of December 11th for the best view.

True to its “Long Nights Moon” name, it will stay in the sky longer than any other full moon, appearing above the horizon just before sunset on the 11th and won’t disappear until after sunrise on the 12th.

This is because of it’s high trajectory across the winter’s sky at the same time the sun stays its lowest.

While you’re out there, you’ll also likely catch a glimpse of the most active meteor shower of the year — the Geminid Meteor Shower — which lasts for two weeks, early to mid-December, becoming most stunning on December 13 at 9 p.m.