Here's how to see December's rare 'Full Cold Moon' that signals onset of colder temperatures and longer nights
The night of the full moon is the only night of the month when the moon will rise around the sunset, shine brightly all night and then set around sunrise the following morning
The last final moon of the year, and consequentially of the decade, is set to peak at 12:12 am this coming Thursday, December 12, and will usher in the winter season.
December's full moon is known as both the 'Full Cold Moon' and the 'Long Night's Moon,' according to the Farmer's Almanac, with the latter originating from not only the fact that the month's nights are long, but also because the midwinter full moon has a high trajectory across the sky.
Indeed, the 'Long Night's Moon,' unlike other full moons, sits above the horizon for a longer time and is traditionally associated with the bleakness of winter that sets in during December.
The moon also signals the beginning of days when there will be colder temperatures and more hours of darkness, Fox8 reported.
So, on the night of the 'Long Night's Moon,' people can expect temperatures to drop as low as 38-degrees Fahrenheit (or 3-degrees Celsius).
The night of the full moon is the only night of the month when the moon will rise around the sunset, shine brightly all night and then set around sunrise the following morning, according to KOMO News. The optimal time to view it will be just before sunrise or sunset when it is close to the horizon.
The full moon this month is also sometimes referred to as the Moon Before Yule in honor of the ancient European festival celebrating the return of the Sun that is heralded by the year's longest night, Winter Solstice. This year, Winter Solstice falls on Sunday, December 22, a little over a week after the last full moon.
There's more in store this month too.
Fans of shooting stars can enjoy a pre-Christmas celestial fireworks display in the form of the Geminid Meteor Shower, which peaks December 13-14.
The Geminid Meteor Shower is considered by many to be the most spectacular shower of the year, and viewers at the right location can glimpse as many as 60 to 120 shooting stars per hour for the duration of the night. The shower will be active not only after midnight but also in the evening.