Cold Moon 2020: Spot the Anglo Saxon's Long Night Moon as 2020's last full moon appears

THE last full Moon of 2020 will light up the sky this evening.

December's full Moon is also known as the 'Cold Moon' amongst other names.

It will technically reach its peak brightness in the early hours of Wednesday morning, about 3.28am GMT for those in the UK.

However, it will appear full to the naked eye for about three nights.

Look east after sunset this evening for a good glimpse or wake up before dawn to see the moonset.

Anglo Saxons are said to have called December's full Moon the 'Moon after Yule'.

The group that inhabited Britain from the 5th century weren't the only ones with an interesting name for this particular full Moon.

Nasa said: "The Native American names for the full moon in December — as reported in the Farmer’s Almanac — are the Cold Moon or the Long Night Moon.

"The Cold Moon gets its name because December is the month when it really starts to get cold, although our coldest average temperatures are in January.

"The Long Night Moon gets its name because the full moon in December occurs near the solstice, which has the longest night of the year."

The full Moon will reach high in the sky because it's opposite to a low Sun at this time of year.

That means it will be above the horizon for longer.

The different types of moons

Here are some of the most interesting moon phases and when to see them…

A Blue Moon refers to the occasion when a full Moon appears for the second time in the same month, this is very rare.

The Harvest Moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.

A Supermoon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth and therefore at its brightest, the next one will appear in September.

A Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse.

Each month of the year actually has its own special full Moon phenomenon, they are as follows:

 

  • January: Wolf Moon
  • February: Snow Moon
  • March: Worm Moon
  • April: Pink Moon
  • May: Flower Moon
  • June: Strawberry Moon
  • July: Buck Moon
  • August: Sturgeon Moon
  • September: Full Corn Moon
  • October: Hunter's Moon
  • November: Beaver Moon
  • December: Cold Moon.

In other news, tonight could be your last chance to see the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction.

Britain is to launch a spacecraft next year in ­a mission to ambush a comet and unlock mysteries of the universe.

And, Nasa has announced its first team of astronauts that will be heading for the Moon.

Will you be looking out for the full Moon? Let us know in the comments…

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