The Christmas celebration across the globe is now made even more special with the appearance of a full moon. Such phenomenon has not occurred since 1977 and scientists believe that the next time will be on 2034. The said full moon is also called Full Cold Moon, which got its name by showing up during winter.
"Not since 1977 has a full moon dawned in the skies on Christmas," shared NASA in the organization's official press release. They added, "But this year, a bright full moon will be an added gift for the holidays. December's full moon, the last of the year, is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter. The moon's peak this year will occur at 6:11 a.m. EST."
NASA went on to state, "This rare event won't happen again until 2034. That's a long time to wait, so make sure to look up to the skies on Christmas Day. As you gaze up at the Christmas moon, take note that NASA has a spacecraft currently orbiting Earth's moon. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission has been investigating the lunar surface since 2009."
The LRO is said to have gathered a "treasure trove of data" by utilizing seven powerful instruments. These information are considered "invaluable" by researchers and scientists as mankind attempts to accumulate and interpret knowledge on the moon.
John Keller of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shared, "As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it's worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbor. The geologic history of the moon and Earth are intimately tied together such that the Earth would be a dramatically different planet without the moon." The center, which is located in Greenbelt, Maryland, also manages the LRO for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Given the difference in time zones, the Christmas moon could be seen to rise at around 4:28 pm ET of Christmas Eve in New York. It will set at approximately 7:03 am ET on Christmas Day. For those in Boston, the Full Cold Moon is expected to rise a few minutes earlier while a 20-minute difference could be expected by those in Atlanta.
Coincidentally, the reappearance of the Full Cold Moon occurs in the same time as yet another phenomenal event: the return of Star Wars in the big screen. According to NBC News, the year 1977 was also the same time Hans Solo and Chewbacca fought Stormtroopers. It remains to be seen if the return of the Christmas moon in 2034 will also witness the comeback of the Star Wars.