Officially “full” on Saturday, December 18, 2021, the “Cold Christmas Moon” will be best seen rising in the northeastern sky just after dusk on Sunday, December 19, 2021.

Here’s everything you need to know to see a beautiful bright orange moonrise as the “Cold Moon” puts on a spectacular display just a few days short of the December solstice.

So what’s so special about the “Cold Christmas Moon?” Of the 12 full moons in 2021 there was a “Blue Moon,” two “Blood Moon” lunar eclipses and three so-called supermoons … and now one “micromoon.”

It’s not an official astronomical term, but this month’s full Moon is a “micro moon.” It’s the farthest of the year at 252,235 miles/405,932 kilometres. That’s about 10% farther than the average Moon-Earth distance, which makes it appear to be the smallest to us on Earth.

When is the full ‘Cold Christmas Moon?’ The Moon will be 100% illuminated by the Sun at 04:37 a.m. Universal Time (also GMT) on Sunday, December 19, 2021, which translates to 11:37 p.m. EST and 8:37 p.m. PST in North America. However, Saturday is not when to go looking for the full “Cold Moon.”

Why you should wait a day to view the full ‘Cold Christmas Moon’ Although it may seem counterintuitive, you will be far better off moon-gazing close to sunset on the following evening. That’s because only at moonrise—which occurs at dusk in the eastern sky almost opposite a setting Sun in the west—will you see our satellite draped in orange hues in the gathering twilight.

So for North America that means you should go full Moon-gazing at dusk on Sunday, December 19, 2021. Sample times for seeing the ‘Cold Christmas Moon’ rise

You should check the exact moonrise time for your location, then look to the northeast. Wait about 10 minutes and be patient—it will appear!

Why is a moonrise always orange? As the Moon rises on the horizon the observer sees its reflected light streaming through a lot of the Earth’s atmosphere. Light towards the blue end of the spectrum has shorter wavelengths so is scattered on particles in the Earth’s atmosphere while light towards the red end of the spectrum has longer wavelengths so travel through to your eyes more easily.

The result is that a moonrise looks a bright orange, turning to a pale yellow as it rises, then finally to a bright, white orb as it rises higher into the night sky.

The same thing happens to planets, too; look for Venus while you’re out moonrise-gazing and you’ll see it also turn orangey-red as it sinks into the horizon.

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 Bear’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.


Responses to "Full Wolf Moon 2021: A Festive ‘Cold Christmas Moon’ Rise Just Before The Winter Solstice"

  1. Dog-like behavior such as play has been frequently observed in eastern Coyotes which are a hybrid of wolf, dog and coyote. They also act like wolves, especially when hunting.

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