Cold Christmas Moon: How, when and where to spot the last full moon of 2021
The time to see the beautiful full moon has finally come. The official time to see the full moon, called the "Cold Christmas Moon", is on December 18, 2021; it will be seen best and clearly in the northeastern sky immediately after dusk on Sunday, December 19, 2021.
Just before the December Solstice, a bright orange moonrise will herald the Cold Christmas Moon. Here's everything you need to know about when, how and where you will be able to see the moon.
Smallest Full Moon of 2021
Why do people wait for the Cold Christmas Moon? There were a total of 12 full moons in 2021, out of these, one was a blue moon, two were blood moon lunar eclipses and three were supermoons. Now, there's one moon left and it is called the micro moon.
Even though it is not a scientific moon, it has a meaning. This is the farthest the moon is from Earth with a distance of 252,235 miles. This is about 10% farther than the average distance of the moon from the Earth. This difference will make this moon appear as the smallest to everybody on Earth.
When will you see Cold Christmas Moon?
At 04:37 am Universal Time, on Sunday, the moon will be 100% illuminated. This timing translates to 11:37 pm EST and 8:37 pm PST in North America. However, people should not be looking for the full moon on Saturday.
Why not to view the cold moon on Saturday?
Although it may sound odd to some people, one is always better off moon-gazing close to sunset on the following evening. This is because when the moon rises, which is in the eastern sky, almost opposite to the direction of sunset, you will see the satellite draped in orange hues in the gathering twilight.
So, for the people living in North America, you should go for the full moon gazing at dusk on December 19, Sunday.
Timings to see the Cold Christmas Moon
Here is the exact timing for people of different cities. Wait for a few minutes and have patience, you'll see it.
New York City: 4:48 pm EST on Sunday, December 2021
Los Angeles: 5:15 pm PST on Sunday, December 2021
London: 3:49 pm EST on Sunday, December 2021
Why is the moon rise orange?
Since the moon rises on the horizon, the viewer may see the reflection passing through a lot of the Earth's atmosphere. Blue light has a shorter spectrum and wavelengths so the light scatters in the particles in the Earth's atmosphere. However, red light has longer wavelengths so it reaches the eyes more easily. Hence, the moonrise looks orange and turns to bright yellow when it rises higher.