The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.

This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Wolf Moon because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps.

This moon has also been know as the Old Moon and the Moon After Yule.

 

The Sky Tonight Update: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

An eclipse of the moon can only happen at full moon, when the sun, Earth and moon line up in space, with Earth in the middle. At such times, Earth’s shadow falls on the moon, creating a lunar eclipse.  Lunar eclipses happen a minimum of two times to a maximum of five times a year. There are three kinds of lunar eclipses: total, partial and penumbral.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Annular Solar Eclipse

Annular Solar Eclipse

An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the Sun. This results in a ring of light around the darkened Moon. The Sun’s corona is not visible during an annular eclipse. The path of of the eclipse will begin in Saudi Arabia and move east through southern India, northern Sri Lanka, parts of the Indian Ocean, and Indonesia before ending in the Pacific Ocean. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout most of Asia and northern Australia.
(NASA Map and Eclipse Information) (NASA Interactive Google Map)

The Sky Tonight Update: December Solstice

December Solstice

The December solstice occurs at 04:19 UTC. The South Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its southernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude. This is the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Sky Tonight Update: Geminids Meteor Shower

Geminids Meteor Shower

The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon

Full Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 05:14 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Cold Moon because this is the time of year when the cold winter air settles in and the nights become long and dark. This moon has also been known as the Full Long Nights Moon and the Moon Before Yule.