This full moon is the last of the year, and is nicknamed the 'Full Cold Moon', since it occurs at the beginning of winter.

Today, December 21, 2018, is winter solstice in North America, officially the shortest day of the year. As we celebrate the increasing daylight hours to come, look to the sky tonight and mark the occasion with the spectacular Ursid meteor shower and a full Moon.

Winter solstice comes and goes every year, marking the rhythmic tilt of Earth both toward and away from the Sun. However, this year it will be accompanied by an astronomical show. Below we'll cover how to watch the Ursid meteor shower, where the full Moon is best viewed and how common or uncommon it is for these events to align.

Winter solstice is the point at which Earth's axis is tilted as far from the Sun as it will be all year. The maximum tilt away from the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere means the shortest day of the year and longest night of the year in 2018.

During the same time, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing their summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year. In June of 2019, the roles will reverse and thus continues the ever marching seasons. As you can imagine, the higher latitudes (New England, Canada, Alaska, etc.) will experience a much more pronounced winter solstice. Some places in the very high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere will experience little to no sunlight at all.

The moon will appear to be a full moon tonight, however, the technical full moon of December isn't until Saturday, December 22. The Full Cold Moon, named after the full moon marking the beginning of the coldest part of the year, will add to the overall experience tonight.

While the full moon may make it more difficult to see the Ursid meteor shower, it will, in its own way, create a unique imprint on the winter solstice.

December Full Moon Names From Native American Tribes

Kaitvitjuitk (Inuit). Cold Moon (Celtic). Night Moon (Taos). Respect Moon (Hopi). Bitter Moon (Chinese). Peach Moon (Choctaw). Twelfth Moon (Dakotah). Big Winter Moon (Creek) Real Goose Moon (Kiowa). Cold Time Moon (Mohawk). Ashes Fire Moon (San Juan). Oak Moon (Medieval English). Big BearĂ¢€™s Moon (Winnebago). Long Night Moon (Neo-Pagan). Popping Trees Moon (Arapaho). Running Wolves Moon (Cheyenne). Frost Fish Moon (Passamaquoddy). Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon (Algonquin). Snow Moon, Before Yule Moon (Cherokee). Oak Moon : Full, : Snow Moon Dark (Janic). Popping Tress Moon, Deer Horn Shedding Moon (Sioux).

Other moon names : Wolf Moon, Turning Moon, Heavy Snow Moon, Aerra Geola, Under Burn Moon, Big Winter Moon, Winter Maker Moon, Yellow Leaves Moon, Little Finger Moon, Mid-Winter Moon, Wintermonat, Small Spirits Moon.

Why is the full cold moon special this year?

This year’s full cold moon falling almost exactly in line with the December solstice on the 21st, with its peak around midday on the 22nd. The longest night of the year coincides with a big, beautiful full moon. It’s the first time since 2010 since the two have been less than 24 hours apart, and the last time until 2029.


Responses to "The Winter Solstice Full Moon 2018: Full cold moon to make winter solstice extra special"

Write a comment