Why is December's full moon known as the Cold Moon?

Pablo Tucker
December 21, 2018

In the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed and 21 December is their summer solstice meaning it is the day with the most amount of daylight.

The winter solstice is juxtaposed by the summer solstice which typically falls on June 21 and marks the longest day and shortest night of the year. The phenomenon occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. The Sun will be directly above the Tropic of Capricorn at noon, marking the longest day in the southern hemisphere. So you might want to get a good look on Friday night and again on Sunday night when the skies are expected to be a bit clearer.

On December 22 at 17:49 UTC, people will be able to see the last full moon of the year.

Friday night is also the peak of the Ursid meteor shower, but a near-full moon and cloud cover will make for poor meteor-viewing conditions.


The Ursids meteor shower will be visible tonight.

A full moon will occur December 22, bringing a bright light to the start of winter. The sun would be at its lowest position throughout the Northern Hemisphere sky.

The occasion is a cause for celebration in some regions around the world. The day and time of the solstice vary every year.

At the Stonehenge in United Kingdom, people come together to capture the moment when the sun aligns with the rocks at sunrise and sunset.


And in Ireland, people gather days before the solstice at Newgrange - a massive gravesite that's more than 5,000 years old.

Although some people think that the whole day is the solstice, there is actually a specific time in the day when the solstice occurs.

The festive food is said to bring prosperity and unity among families.


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